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Iraqi Sunni Arabs leave mixed neighborhoods

Rebecca Santana reports for The Associated Press:

Ahmed al-Azami, a Sunni Muslim, has owned a house in Baghdad's Shiite neighborhood of Shaab since 1999. But when Shiite residents recently began questioning why he, a Sunni, was living among them, he decided it was time to leave.

His story and similar tales by other Sunnis suggest Iraqis are again segregating themselves along sectarian lines, prompted by a political crisis pulling at the explosive Sunni-Shiite divide just weeks after the American withdrawal left Iraq to chart its own future.

The numbers so far are small and not easy to track with precision, but anecdotal accounts and a rise in business at real estate agencies in Sunni neighborhoods reveal a Sunni community contemplating the worse-case scenario and acting before it's too late.

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