Many of Iraq's Sunnis are holding a day of civil disobedience to protest the Shiite-led government's policies they perceive as being discriminatory against their minority.

The protest is underway in the provinces of Anbar, Salahuddin and Ninevah, where many schools, markets and government offices shut down on Monday. However, Sunni areas in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, did not join the action.

The organizers say the protest is a warning to the government, which has failed to meet the demands of the Sunnis who have been staging weekly protests since late last year.

The list of Sunni demands also includes the release of Sunni detainees from Iraqi jails and the cancellation of tough counter-terrorism laws and other policies that they believe overwhelmingly target their minority.