Government troops in Iraq, which is reeling from a wave of violence that killed up to 200 people, retook Suleiman Beg, north of Baghdad Friday, officials said.
He said that community leaders had called on Sunni soldiers in the Iraq army to leave their posts if the government ordered them to attack Sunni areas.
"I've been covering this story for more than four months; this is the first time I've seen armed men protecting the protests, I saw people with rocket-propelled grenades.I saw people carrying sniper rifles and, very interestingly, the speaker who was addressing the crowd asked them if they were willing to die, and everybody rose in anger and they were shouting 'Allah Akbar [God is great]'."
The protest-related violence is the deadliest so far linked to demonstrations that broke out in Sunni areas of the Shia-majority country more than four months ago
Iraqi Sunnis have been protesting since December against what they see as the marginalization of their sect since the U.S.-led invasion overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 and empowered majority Shi'ites through the ballot box.