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Iraqi lawmakers from the Sunni-dominated bloc are accusing the country's Shiite government of torturing to death a jailed bodyguard who worked for the fugitive Sunni vice president.

The guard was held on suspicion of terrorism. Authorities say he died of kidney failure on March 15.

A Sunni lawmaker from Iraqiya, Salman al-Jumaili, demanded an investigation on Thursday. He says human rights organizations should look into the case.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi _ Iraq's the highest-ranking Sunni official _ has been accused of running death squads against Shiite pilgrims, government officials and security forces.

He has denied the charges and has fled to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region to avoid an arrest warrant issued in December.

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