Fugitive Saddam deputy lends support to Sunni protesters

By REUTERS
January 5, 2013 13:38

 
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ARBIL, Iraq - The most senior member of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's entourage still at large has encouraged Sunni Muslim anti-government protesters to stand their ground until Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is toppled.

Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri heads Saddam's Baath party, which was banned after the US-led invasion in 2003 that overthrew the Sunni dictator and empowered majority Shi'ite Muslims.

Over the past two weeks, tens of thousands of Sunnis, some waving Saddam-era flags, have staged demonstrations in a show of anger against Maliki, whom they accuse of marginalizing their community and monopolizing power.

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