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Kurds seek independence vote amid Iraq 'chaos'; Indian nurses to be freed

Published on Jul 4, 2014 5:31 PM

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi Kurdish preparations for an independence referendum met with frustration in Washington, which stressed unity was essential to tackle a jihadist-led onslaught that risks "Syria-like chaos".

In a rare piece of positive news during the crisis, however, a group of 46 Indian nurses caught up in the conflict were to be freed, one of them told AFP.

Iraqi Kurdish president Massud Barzani told the autonomous region's parliament on Thursday that it should make "preparations to begin to organise a referendum on the right of self-determination", but the US opposed the move.

The prospect of an independent state is made more attractive by what the Kurds say is Baghdad's unwillingness to resolve the issue of disputed territory and late and insufficient budget payments to the region.

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