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    Iraqi Sunni and Shia tensions intensify

    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

    Iraq's Sunni bloc is boycotting parliament and Tariq al-Hashemi, the country's Sunni vice-president, has fled to the Kurdish-controlled north to avoid being arrested on terrorism charges.

    Most of his staff were arrested and some tortured, and Hashemi says Sunni persecution and lack of a state-supported peaceful solution could lead to more intense armed independence struggles.

    The country's religious tensions are heightening, and both Sunnis and Shias are being killed in attacks across the country.

    Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports from Erbil in northern Iraq.