RAMADI, Iraq - Bodyguards for Iraq's deputy prime minister wounded two people when they fired warning shots at Sunni protesters who pelted his convoy with bottles and stones on Sunday, witnesses said.

The incident took place the city of Ramadi in western Anbar province, to where Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq had travelled to address people in an attempt to defuse sectarian tensions.

Thousands of Iraqi Sunnis have taken to the streets and blocked a main highway over the past week in protest against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whom they accuse of discriminating against their community and being under the sway of non-Arab neighbor Iran.

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