Supporters of Iraqi prime minister rally a day after huge anti-government protests


Protesters chant slogans against Iraq's Shiite-led government as they wave national flags during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Thousands of protesters took to the street in western Anbar province and other predominantly Sunni areas in Iraq to protest what they believe to be the second-class treatment of Sunnis by the Shiite-led government. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)The Associated Press

Shiite demonstrators are taking to the streets in Iraq's capital to show support for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government, which has been facing angry protests in Sunni provinces.

About 2,000 people are demonstrating in the rally held in downtown Baghdad, some holding pictures of the Shiite prime minister. They reject Sunni calls to abolish a tough anti-terrorism law and another law banning former members of the disbanded Baath party from holding government jobs.

Iraqi security forces have imposed tight security measures around the rally. All roads leading to it were blocked off.

Members of Iraq's Sunni minority have been holding large demonstration for the past three weeks to protest what they call discrimination by the Shiite-led government.