BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials say at least 14 people have been killed in clashes between Sunni protesters and security forces in a northern Sunni town.
Sheikh Abdullah Sami al-Asi, a Sunni provincial official from the town of Hawija, says the fighting began early on Tuesday morning when security forces entered the protest area in the town and tried to make arrests.
Provincial health director Sidiq Omar Rasool says there are at least 14 protesters killed. He says the clashes also wounded more than 50 demonstrators and six members of Iraqi security forces.
Hawija is 240 kilometers (160 miles) north of Baghdad.
A United Nations spokeswoman in Iraq, Eliana Nabaa, confirmed that there are multiple casualties. She urged both sides to immediately lay down their weapons.
Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says one rocket exploded in the courtyard of a house in the border town of Sderot, causing damage but no injuries. The other landed in an open field.
As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama visited Sderot, which is frequently targeted by rocket attacks from the nearby Gaza Strip. The territory is ruled by the militant Palestinian Hamas group.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack, which came as Obama was in Jerusalem. He is to visit the West Bank city of Ramallah later in the day.
Obama arrives today in Israel for his first visit to the country — and only his second to the Middle East, outside of a quick jaunt to Iraq — since taking office.
He will also be making his first trips as president to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan this week. But on an itinerary laden more with symbolism than substance, an Israel that is increasingly wary of developments in Syria and Iran will be the main focus of his attention.