Iraqi minister resigns after protesters shot

BAGHDAD— Iraq’s agriculture minister quit Friday after police opened fire on Sunni demonstrators in the country’s north, killing one protester and wounding five others.

Izzeddin al-Dolah’s resignation marks the second high-profile Sunni departure from the government this month.

Fatal shootings have been comparatively rare during two months of antigovernment rallies, and the protester’s death probably will heighten Sunni demonstrators’ anger against the Shi’ite-led government.


The shooting happened in the city of Mosul, 225 miles north of Baghdad, as angry protesters demanded the release of a local tribal sheik arrested earlier in the day, police officials said. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties.

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Dolah linked his resignation to the shooting, saying the blood of those who voted for him is now being shed. Dolah made the announcement at a news conference in Mosul, the capital of Ninevah province where he is from.

‘‘There is no way I can continue my work in a government that does not care about the demands of my people,’’ he said.

Dolah is a member of the opposition Iraqiya bloc, which draws on Sunnis for much of its support. His announcement comes weeks after Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi announced his resignation at an antigovernment rally.

Minority Sunnis frustrated about what they claim is second-class treatment have taken to the streets across Iraq since late December.