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Iraqi Kurds, Ethnic Turks Sign Agreement

An Iraqi Kurdish faction and an ethnic Turkish group in northern Iraq have signed an agreement aimed at preventing ethnic violence after clashes left 11 people dead last week, an Iraqi Kurdish official said Thursday. The agreement was signed between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Iraqi Turkmen Front in the city of Kirkuk on Tuesday, said Bahros Galali, the Ankara representative of the Kurdish group. Kirkuk is home to a potentially explosive mix of Kurds, ethnic Turks and Arabs. Kurds and ethnic Turks both have claims to the city, which is now ruled by a town council divided between ethnic groups. The Kirkuk region produces slightly less than half of Iraq’s oil. “We need peace and stability in the region,” Galali said. Ethnic Turks have blamed the PUK for the two days of fighting, but the Kurdish group has said it was the work of Saddam Hussein’s sympathizers. Full Story

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