Some 2,000 Shi'ite demonstrators have taken to the streets of Baghdad to show support for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.
The demonstration on January 12 came after Maliki's Shi'ite-led government faced angry protests in Sunni provinces in a sign of growing sectarian tensions.
Government supporters reject minority Sunni Muslim calls to abolish a tough antiterrorism law and another law banning former members of the disbanded Ba'ath party from holding government jobs.
Sunni Muslims in the western province of Anbar and other Sunni parts of the country have been holding large demonstrations for the past three weeks to protest what they call discrimination by the government.
Government officials said that the Sunni protests were aimed to create nationwide chaos and revive sectarian conflict in the country.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters