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Casualties Reported As Sunni Protesters Clash With Soldiers In Iraq

Protesters throw stones at Iraqi security forces during an antigovernment demonstration in Falluja on January 25.
Five Sunni protesters and three soldiers have reportedly been killed in the Iraqi town of Fallujah, as rallies against the Shi'ite-led government continued on January 25.

Eyewitnesses say soldiers opened fire while trying to disperse antigovernment demonstrators who threw rocks at soldiers.

Hospital sources say the victims bodies arrived with bullet wounds.

Also in Fallujah, gunmen attacked an army patrol, reportedly killing three soldiers.

Since December, thousands of Sunni Muslims have been protesting across Iraq against the government of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

They accuse the government of politically marginalizing and persecuting the country's Sunnis.

Shi'ites make up 65 percent of Iraq's population.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa