MOSUL, Iraq, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Four people were injured Monday during a bid by Iraqi army vehicles to disperse an anti-government protest in the Iraqi city of Mosul, a local police source told Xinhua.
The incident occurred at around noon, when hundreds of angry protestors challenged the closure of al-Ahrar Square in central Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province and some 400 km north of Iraqi capital Baghdad, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The soldiers fired warning shots while their military vehicles ran over some of the stubborn protestors to disperse them, the source reiterated.
According the source, the incident was expected to spark riot at the scene. But Governor of Nineveh province Atheel al-Nujaifi, brother of the Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, arrived at the scene and managed to defuse the problem when he ordered the demonstration to continue.
Earlier in the day, the security forces in Nineveh said they blocked the al-Ahrar Square and banned any protest that has no permission from the interior ministry.
However, the provincial government said giving permission to demonstrations is its duty and it had already decided to give open permission to the protest in Mosul.
Nineveh's protest is part of the ongoing demonstrations in several Sunni-dominated cities. The protests first began on Dec. 23 in the western Anbar province, and swiftly spread to the Sunni provinces of Nineveh, Kirkuk, Salahudin and Diyala, as well as in Baghdad's Sunni district of Azamiya.
The Sunni protesters complained about injustice, marginalization, discrimination, double standards and politicization of the judicial system. They also accused Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of using judiciary to fight his political opponents in order to legally tame the opposition in the political process.
They said the Shiite-led Iraqi security forces were indiscriminately arresting their sons and torture them. They also accused the security forces of arresting women instead of their wanted male family members.