Kurdish Peshmerga forces detain men suspected of being Islamic State militants southwest of Kirkuk, Iraq October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed
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Iraqi Vice President Iyad Allawi warned Monday there could be a "civil war" over the Kurdish-administered city of Kirkuk if talks over Kurdish independence are left unresolved.Allawi, in an interview with the Associated Press, urged Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, as well as Iraq's central government and its Iranian-backed militia forces, to show restraint and resolve their disputes over the oil-rich city.The head of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia Qais Khazali warned worshippers in a sermon Sunday that Iraq's Kurds were planning to claim much of north Iraq, including Kirkuk, for an independent state, after Iraq's Kurds voted for independence in a controversial but non-binding referendum two weeks ago.Kirkuk was included in the September referendum even though it falls outside the autonomous Kurdish region in the northeast Iraq. The ethnically mixed city has been administered by Kurdish forces since 2014, when government forces fled from the advancing Daesh (ISIS).
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