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Iraqi TV: Security Forces Repel Major IS Attack On Kirkuk; 80 Killed

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi (file photo)

Iraqi state TV said security forces repelled a major attack by the Islamic State militants on the oil producing city of Kirkuk but at least 80 people, mainly security forces, were killed.

The attack on the northern Iraqi city appeared to aimed at diverting attention from the ongoing assault on the city of Mosul, to the north, by Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

Kirkuk’s police chief said on October 22 that Iraqi forces had killed 48 IS militants who stormed some parts of the city.

Brigadier General Khattab Omar said another 170 people were wounded in the assault, which involved a wave of attacks in and around the city by more than 50 militants.

City authorities partially lifted a curfew declared after the militants stormed police stations and other buildings on October 20, the TV channel said.

Fighting raged in the city center for 24 hours, and skirmishes continued in other parts of the city on October 22.

Kirkuk is an oil-rich metropolis some 290 kilometers north of Baghdad and 170 kilometers southeast of Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said the assault was not a military breach but a terrorist attack, and that security forces were close to regaining full control of the city.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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