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Officials in Iraq say the organizer of antigovernment protests in Kirkuk has been shot dead in a drive-by shooting.

Police say Bunyan Sabar al-Obeidi, a spokesman for Sunni protesters in the oil-rich region, was also the target of an attempted assassination earlier this month.

Since late last year, thousands of Sunnis have been protesting against the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, saying that recent legislation has been aimed at marginalizing Iraq's Sunni minority.

On March 8, police in Mosul opened fire on Sunni protesters, killing one and wounding five.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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