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Iraqi forces enter Kirkuk as Kurds flee

Iraqi forces enter Kirkuk as Kurds flee

World
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceIraqi government forces have entered central Kirkuk after taking key installations outside the disputed city from Kurdish fighters.Thousands of people fled the city ahead of the Iraqi advance.The Iraqi military moved into Kirkuk three weeks after the Kurdistan Region held a controversial independence referendum.They are aiming to retake areas under Kurdish control since Islamic State militants swept through the region.Residents of Kurdish-controlled areas, including Kirkuk, overwhelmingly backed secession from Iraq in a 25 September vote.While Kirkuk is outside Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish voters in the city were allowed to take part.Iraq's prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, had denounced the vote as unconstitutional. But the Kurdistan Regional Governm...
Kirkuk: Clashes reported after Iraqi forces advance on Kurdish-held sites

Kirkuk: Clashes reported after Iraqi forces advance on Kurdish-held sites

World
Clashes have been reported between Iraqi and Kurdish forces after Baghdad sent troops towards disputed areas held by the Kurds in Kirkuk province.State TV said government forces had taken control of some areas, including oil fields, "without fighting". But Kurdish officials denied this.An exchange of artillery fire is said to have occurred south of Kirkuk city. The US government has said it is very concerned and urged dialogue "as the best option to defuse tensions".Why was the operation launched?Tensions between Iraq's Arab-led central government and the autonomous Kurdistan Region intensified after people living in areas under its control voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum last month.Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the referendum was unconstitutional and dema...
The Latest: Death toll from Somalia blast rises to 276

The Latest: Death toll from Somalia blast rises to 276

World
The Latest on explosion in Somalia's capital (all times local): 12:45 a.m. Somalia's information minister Abdirahman Osman says the death toll from Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu has risen to 276, with about 300 people injured. It is the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history. The toll is expected to rise. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not yet commented. ——— 12:40 a.m. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is "sickened" by the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history. Guterres in a tweet Sunday night urged "unity in the face of terrorism." Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu killed at least 231 people. Another 275 are hurt. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not yet commented. Off
Austrian voters concerned about immigration, Islam

Austrian voters concerned about immigration, Islam

World
Wrapping up a bruising political campaign season, Austrian political parties were counting down to an election Sunday that could turn the country to the right amid voter concerns over immigration and Islam. The vote is coming a year ahead of schedule after squabbles led to the breakup last spring of the coalition government of the Social Democrats and the People's Party. A total of 16 parties are vying for 183 seats in the national parliament and will be chosen by Austria's 6.4 million eligible voters. But less than a dozen parties have a chance of getting seats. The People's Party, which has shifted from centrist to right-wing positions, is leading in the pre-vote polls after an image make-over by its leader, 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz. Austria's traditionally right-wing, anti-migrant Fr...
Freed hostage says Taliban-linked captors killed infant daughter, raped American wife

Freed hostage says Taliban-linked captors killed infant daughter, raped American wife

World
After being held hostage for five years by a Taliban-affiliated terrorist network in the mountains of Afghanistan, a Canadian man, his American wife and their three children born in captivity arrived in Toronto Friday night. Joshua Boyle -- who arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport with his wife Caitlan Coleman and their children -- told reporters inside the Air Canada terminal that the Haqqani network killed a fourth child born in captivity, an infant daughter, and raped his wife. "The stupidity and the evil of the Haqqani networks, kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter, Martyr Boyle,"...