Published December 28, 2012
FALLUJAH, Iraq – Witnesses say tens of thousands of Iraqi Sunni Muslims have massed along a major western highway in the latest of a week of large demonstrations against the Shiite-led government.
The protesters gathered Friday near the city of Fallujah, which is in the vast Sunni-dominated province of Anbar west of Baghdad.
Protesters held aloft placards declaring the day a "Friday of honor." Some carried old Iraqi flags used during the era of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein. Others raised current ones.
The demonstrations follow the arrest last week of 10 bodyguards assigned to Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi, who comes from Anbar and is one of the central government's most senior Sunni officials.
The province has been the scene of several large demonstrations and road blockages since last Saturday.