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Bomb Kills At Least Eight In Iraq's Disputed Kirkuk

KIRKUK (Reuters) -- A car bomb killed at least eight people from a single family when it exploded in Iraq's disputed city of Kirkuk, police said.

Farhad Shwani, a police captain in Kirkuk, said the blast occurred near the home of a local pro-government militia leader in the eastern part of the city.

Other police and hospital sources said there were at least seven killed and two wounded in the attack in Kirkuk, an oil hub 250 kilometers north of Baghdad. At least one woman and a child were among the dead, they said.

Reuters television footage showed at least one building that had collapsed completely in the blast. Police and locals removed bodies wrapped in bed sheets from the rubble.

Kirkuk, home to a volatile mix of ethnic Kurds, Arabs, and Turkomans, is the scene of a bitter showdown between the Arab-led government in Baghdad and leaders in the largely autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

Kurds, who claim Kirkuk as an ancestral homeland, aspire to make Kirkuk part of their northern enclave, an idea that is opposed bitterly by most of Iraq's Arabs.

The United Nations and the United States have been seeking to broker a compromise over control of Kirkuk, seen as a major threat to Iraqi security just as sectarian violence fades, to little apparent success so far.