Kirkuk's Arabs seek to reclaim city

Ethnic group says it is taking part in Iraq's polls for "a matter of existence".

    The oil-rich city of Kirkuk is at the centre of severe political tension in Iraq.

    Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmens have lived together in the region for decades and all the groups lay historical claims to it.

    But after the US-led invasion in 2003, waves of Kurds moved to the city, changing its demographic make-up. The see it as reclaiming land stolen by Saddam Hussein, the deposed Iraqi leader.

    Now the Arabs in Kirkuk, who boycotted the 2005 parliamentary elections, are taking on a different attitude.

    They say they are heading to the vote in full force, putting up a fight for the city they see as "a matter of life or death".

    Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Kirkuk.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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