Kurds seize oilfields in N Iraq


Kurdish forces have seized two oilfields outside their autonomous region in northern Iraq, further complicating the situation in the embattled country.Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement on Friday that Kurdish militiamen took control of production facilities at the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oilfields near the city of Kirkuk. It denounced the action and urged the Kurds to immediately withdraw.
Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk last month after Shia-led government forces withdrew in the face of an assault by Sunni Islamist insurgents. Kurds have vowed to hold a referendum for local residents on whether to declare independence, saying the Iraqi state has effectively disintegrated.
The development is expected to escalate a feud between the Kurds and the Shia-led government in Baghdad, which is facing the Sunni-led insurgency.Human Rights Watch reported the alleged executions on Friday, citing the testimony of local residents across Iraq.
The group says government forces have killed at least 255 Sunni prisoners in 6 cities and villages, including Mosul, since June 6. It says 8 boys were among the victims.
The group says government fighters appear to have carried out the executions in retaliation for the killing of captured Shia soldiers and local residents by Sunni Islamist insurgents.Media agencies

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