Iraq says more than 300 detainees set free, apparent concession to Sunni protesters

An Iraqi deputy premier says authorities have freed hundreds of inmates in recent days, an apparent concession to Sunni protesters demonstrating against the Shiite-led government.

Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani announced the releases at a ceremony at a Baghdad prison Monday attended by dozens of those set free.

He says 335 detainees have gained their freedom in the past week, but he did not give details on their backgrounds or alleged crimes.

Protesters in predominantly Sunni parts of Iraq have been demonstrating for more than three weeks against what they see as unfair treatment by the government against their sect. The release of detainees held without charges has been one of their main demands.

Al-Shahristani oversees a recently formed government committee charged with looking into protesters' demands.