RAMADI, Iraq, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces arrested Saturday a Sunni Arab lawmaker after a clash with his guards in the western province of Anbar which killed four people, a provincial police source said.
A joint army and a Special Weapons And Tactics force, backed by helicopters, carried out a pre-dawn raid on the house of Ahmad al- Alwani, a Sunni member of parliament, in the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, and arrested him, the source told Xinhua.
During the operation, the troops exchanged fire with Alwani's guards who resist the arrest and argued called their operation illegal since lawmakers enjoy immunity under the constitution.
The clash resulted in the killing of four people, including Alwani's brother, and the wounding of 12 others, along with the arrest of a number of Alwani's guards, the source said.
Authorities in Ramadi imposed a curfew and cordoned off the district, while thousands of residents were mourning Alwani's brother and the other victims, the source added.
The latest move by the security forces heightened the existing tension in Anbar province, the heartland of Sunni Arabs in Iraq.
The Sunnis have been carrying out a year-long protest, accusing the Shiite-led government of marginalizing them and its Shiite- dominated security forces of indiscriminately arresting, torturing and killing their sons.
Alwani himself is one of the outspoken leading figures in the anti-government protests. Some opponent lawmakers have been demanding lifting his immunity, but their demand was rejected by the parliament presidency.
U.S. sending missiles, surveillance drones to help Iraq fight with extremists
WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- The United States is sending dozens of missiles and surveillance drones to Iraq to help government forces combat insurgents, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
A shipment of 75 Hellfire missiles were delivered to Iraq last week and 10 ScanEagle reconnaissance drones are expected to be delivered to Iraq by March, according to the newspaper report. Full story