Police Deploy In Flashpoint Iraqi Oil City Kirkuk

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KIRKUK, Iraq  – Police deployed overnight Monday in the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk to prevent a deadly dispute from developing into ethnic clashes ahead of a referendum on Kurdish independence, local residents said.

The Kurdish authorities want to hold the vote, on Sept. 25, despite opposition from the central government in Baghdad and the region’s non-Kurdish population. The city is also home to Arabs and Turkmen.

Kurdish security and the city police erected checkpoints across the city after a Kurd was killed in a clash with the guards of a Turkmen political party office in Kirkuk. -REUTERS