Iraq: July 24, 2002

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The US is trying to work out a peace deal between to two major Kurdish factions (KPD and PUK) in northern Iraq. The US wants the two factions to stop fighting each other and concentrate more on the growing Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam)  movement on the Iranian border. This radical Islamic group includes the heavily armed Jund al-Islam. The radicals are believed responsible for recent bombings in northern Iraq. For centuries, Iran and Iraq have encouraged factionalism among Kurds to prevent Kurds uniting and forming their own nation. Supporting Islamic radicals up there is seen as another effort to weaken the Kurds.

 

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