Hiltermann believes the Kurds are seeking control of
the region's oil fields
Earlier this week a triple bombing killed more than 80 people in Kirkuk. It was the deadliest attack yet in the oil rich northern Iraqi city.

Kirkuk is a centre of tensions among Arabs, Turkomen and Kurds who want to include the area in the autonomous Kurdish region of the north.

The province that had been viewed by many as a model for the rest of the country may be turning into the next hotbed of sectarian violence.

On Wednesday's Riz Khan we will talk to Joost Hiltermann, the Middle East project director at the International Crisis Group and author of A Poisonous Affair: America, Iraq and the Gassing of Halabja.

Hiltermann believes that the Kurds are seeking, among other things, to secure control over the management of oil fields in the Kurdish region and, perhaps most importantly, control of oil-rich Kirkuk and other areas with Kurdish populations that currently fall outside the Kurdish region. He says their agenda is now tearing up Iraq, directly contrary to the stated US objective of preserving the country's territorial unity.

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This episode of Riz Khan aired on Wednesday 18 July 2007.

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