Demonstrators rally in support of Iraqi government

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 12, 2013 at 5:25 am •  Published: January 12, 2013
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Also on Saturday, dozens of people held a similar rally in the mostly Shiite port city of Basra In southern Iraq in support of al-Maliki.

Ahmed al-Sari, a lawyer, said he joined Basra demonstration in order to show his support for al-Maliki "who is confronting a sectarian conspiracy that threatens Iraq's unity."

Iraqi officials said that the demonstrations held in Sunni areas were aimed to create nationwide chaos and revive sectarian conflict in the country. Sectarian tensions frequently boil over into bloody attacks, nowadays mostly by Sunni insurgents against Shiite residents and pilgrims.

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Associated Press writer Sameer n. Yacoub contributed to this report.