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Iraq: Kurds, Turkomans Sign Agreement To Prevent Violence In North

Ankara, Turkey; 28 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- An Iraqi Kurdish faction and an ethnic Turkoman faction have signed an agreement aimed at preventing further ethnic violence after clashes in northern Iraq last week. The Associated Press today quoted Bahros Galali, the Ankara representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, as saying the two sides signed the agreement in the city of Kirkuk on 26 August.

Galali said the Kurdish and Turkoman representatives established a joint committee to bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice, and pledged financial aid to the families of at least 11 people killed in the clashes.

Turkomans blamed members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan for the violence, but the Kurdish group said remaining loyalists to Saddam Hussein were responsible. Kirkuk, one of Iraq's major oil-producing centers, is the focus of conflicting claims by Kurds and Turkomans.