Iraq: 22 killed in clashes with Sunni gunmen

Associated Press
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In this photo taken on Monday, April 22, 2013, Iraqi army soldiers escort young and elderly people leaving a protest site in Hawija, 150 miles (240 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq. Iraqi security forces backed by helicopters raided a Sunni protest camp before dawn Tuesday, prompting clashes that killed scores of people in the area and significantly intensified Sunni anger against the Shiite-led government. (AP Photo)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials say clashes between the army and armed Sunni tribesmen who sealed off a central Iraqi town have killed 22 people.

Police say the fighting broke out Wednesday after tribesmen blocked roads leading to the Sunni town of Qara Tappah, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Baghdad.

Iraqi troops arrived to try to clear the city. Fierce clashes erupted, and helicopters fired at the gunmen. Police say 15 gunmen and seven soldiers were killed.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information to reporters.