Soldiers fired on an anti-government rally west of Baghdad on Friday, killing six demonstrators, the first deaths in weeks of increasingly angry protests calling for Iraq's premier to quit.
Iraqi protesters gather during a demonstration in Kirkuk, north of Baghdad, on January 25, 2013. The protests in Sunni-majority areas have hardened opposition against Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and come amid a political crisis less than three months ahead of key provincial elections.
The shootings came as tens of thousands rallied in majority Sunni areas of the country, railing against alleged targeting of their minority community by the Shiite-led authorities, while in a cross-sectarian show of support, Shiite clerics called on the government to heed their demands.
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