Iraqi PM orders withdrawal of militias from Kirkuk

A messy hand-over outside Kirkuk

The Iraqi Higher Court ordered on Thursday the arrest of Kurdish Vice President Kosrat Rasul for describing the Iraqi forces in Kirkuk as "invaders".

Kurdish officials said on Thursday thousands of their people had fled Kirkuk region fearing persecution since Iraqi armed forces retook it following a referendum on Kurdish independence that was rejected by Baghdad. The Kurds' long-time big power ally, the United States, also opposed the vote.

Kurdish troops had left Khanaqin, near the border with Iran, on Tuesday to avoid clashing with advancing Iraqi forces.

The Baghdad central government considers the September 25 Kurdish independence referendum illegal, especially as it was held not just in the autonomous KRG region but in Kirkuk and other adjacent areas that Peshmerga forces held after driving out Islamic State militants in 2014.

The pullout this week from the city of Kirkuk and other towns and villages they held is likely to deprive the Kurdish regional government of a substantial revenue stream.

While in jail, Talwars gave medical service for free, refused remuneration: Jailor
The CBI court said they had killed Aarushi in a fit of rage because they suspected her of having an affair with Hemraj. There was mayhem on the road outside the jail with media persons scrambling to capture the Talwar couple walking out.

In a statement, the KRG cabinet said, "It will not be possible to resolve the issues through military operations".

Iraq said it expects to restore Kirkuk's oil production to last week's levels by Sunday. Kurdish forces, which had seized the area when the Iraqi army melted away during the Islamic State group's rampage across the country's northwest in 2014, withdrew after brief clashes.

On Monday, Iraqi military forces assumed control of Kirkuk province, of which Kirkuk city is regional capital, following the withdrawal of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters loyal to northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

The news comes just weeks after a Kurdish referendum on independence in which Kurds backed secession.

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