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Referenda
Iraqi Kurds signal intent to hold independence referendum
Iraqi Kurds signal intent to hold independence referendum

The leader of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region called on lawmakers Thursday to prepare an independence referendum, a move that threatens to lead to the breakup of Iraq. Kurdistan, where most of Iraq's 5 million Kurds live in an oasis of stability flanked by sectarian strife, has enjoyed self-rule for more than two decades, but its leaders now apparently sense an opportunity to move toward full statehood. The northern Iraqi territory last month gained control of the strategic region around Kirkuk after Iraqi soldiers fled an onslaught by Islamic radicals, leaving Iraq's most lucrative oil assets vulnerable to takeover by the militants. Kurdistan's peshmerga militiamen moved in to...

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