Sunni leaders vow to defeat terrorism in Anbar

Sunni sheiks and community leaders met Saturday in this city west of Baghdad and pledged to fight terrorism and restore peace and security to Anbar province - for years the heart of the insurgency. They also called for the release of security detainees who had not been convicted of crimes and for a bigger role for their group in representing Sunni interests. The meeting, attended by dozens of Sunnis including tribal leaders, clerics and professors, was held at the provincial council headquarters in this city, which used to be an insurgent stronghold until many tribesmen decided to fight al-Qaida. Among those present were members of the Anbar Awakening, which was formed in April by more than 200 Sunni sheiks who said the group would become a national party. Its platform includes opposition to al-Qaida and cooperation with the government.