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Iraqi PM calls on rivals not to quit parliament

Iraq's Shiite prime minister asks Sunni political rivals to stay in government, parliament

Iraqi Sunni protesters burn tires to block the main highway to Jordan and Syria, outside Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Mon...
Iraqi Sunni masked protesters burn tires to blocked the main highway to Jordan and Syria, outside Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, ...
People try to extinguish flames at a gas station after clashes between Iraqi army soldiers and Sunni gunmen in Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west...
Iraqi federal policemen stand guard at a checkpoint in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. The Iraqi government has tightened its security measures...

Mideast Iraq

Iraqi Sunni protesters burn tires to block the main highway to Jordan and Syria, outside Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Mon...

APTOPIX Mideast Iraq

Iraqi Sunni masked protesters burn tires to blocked the main highway to Jordan and Syria, outside Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, ...

Mideast Iraq

People try to extinguish flames at a gas station after clashes between Iraqi army soldiers and Sunni gunmen in Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west...

Mideast Iraq

Iraqi federal policemen stand guard at a checkpoint in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. The Iraqi government has tightened its security measures...

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's Shiite prime minister is calling on his Sunni political rivals not to withdraw from the government and parliament over the dismantling of a protest camp that led to bloody clashes in a major western city.

Nouri al-Maliki also said in a statement Tuesday that the Iraqi army will hand over control of cities in western province of Anbar to local police.

On Monday, seven gunmen and three police officers were killed in clashes in Anbar's provincial capital, Ramadi, as security forces took down tents and cleared a Sunni sit-in. Sunnis have been staging protests for months against what they consider as second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government.

More than 40 Sunni lawmakers have submitted their resignations from parliament while as ministers have threatened to withdraw from the Cabinet.