118 killed in two days of Iraq violence—officials

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The body of Maad Hammad is taken for burial in Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Hammad was killed when Iraqi security forces backed by helicopters raided a Sunni protest camp before dawn Tuesday, April 23, 2013, prompting clashes that killed scores of people in the area and significantly intensified Sunni anger against the Shiite-led government. AP PHOTO/EMAD MATTI

BAGHDAD—Two days of violence in Iraq have killed 118 people, 99 of them in clashes and attacks involving security forces, protesters and their supporters, officials said on Wednesday.

The violence also wounded 245 people, 194 of them in protest-related unrest, they said.

The trouble began early on Tuesday, when clashes broke out after security forces moved into an area near Hawijah in northern Iraq, where protests have been held since January.

The fighting killed 53 people, and a series of revenge attacks left another 27 dead. A further 15 were killed in apparently unrelated unrest, officials said.

On Wednesday, another 23 people died in violence, 19 of them in protest-related unrest.

Protesters have taken to the streets in Sunni-majority areas of Iraq for more than four months, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and decrying the alleged targeting of their minority community by the Shiite-led authorities.

The latest spate of violence is the worst protest-related unrest since the demonstrations began.

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