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Kirkuk not as liberated from IS as claimed

Because of the crisis between Erbil and Baghdad over Kurdish independence, increased attacks by the Islamic State in the Kirkuk province have gone generally unnoticed by the government.
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SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq — For the last four months, as Kurds and the central government in Baghdad have been busy with their toxic rivalry over the Kurdistan independence referendum and over control of disputed territories, including Kirkuk, the Islamic State (IS) propaganda channels on the messaging app Telegram have been buzzing with reports of dozens of assassination attempts on Iraqi security forces, mainly in the Hawija area in southwestern Kirkuk province.

The litany of assassinations and warnings by some field commanders went generally unnoticed by the government in Baghdad, which is preoccupied with the upcoming elections in May.

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