Kirkuk: Barometer of Civil War

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As NPR reports, twin suicide car bombings in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk earlier today killed 80 people and wounded an estimated 150 more. The bombs targeted the office of a Kurdish political party and a popular outdoor market. Kirkuk sits on a lot of oil, and its history of ethnic tension between Kurds, Arabs, and Turkomen makes it a potential powder keg. Thanks to the so-called ‘surge’ in Baghdad, Iraq’s violence is diffusing into new areas that, until now, have been relatively quiet. Should Kirkuk explode, there’s no telling how things would end. The International Crisis Group released a report last summer about the struggle for control over the city. The New Yorker‘s George Packer also has also written on the subject in that magazine’s pages. The level of violence in the city bears watching…

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