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Iraq's oil-rich south considers forming breakaway region

Iraq’s oil-rich southern provinces are considering plans to set up an autonomous region in a move that could threaten the unity of the country, London’s Financial Times newspaper reported.Officials from the three southern provinces of Basra, Missan and Dhiqar, which account for more than 80 percent of Iraq’s oil reserves, have been holding talks on establishing a federal region in the south, following the example of the Kurdish north, the FT said. The regions have presented a political challenge to the interim Iraqi administration as it battles a fierce insurgency in Sunni Muslim areas and continued unrest in an impoverished Shia suburb of Baghdad, the newspaper said. Full Story

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