World Bulletin / News Desk
The head of Kirkuk election commission said the central government in Baghdad has not yet taken a decision to hold a referendum on the independence of the northern city of Kirkuk.
"No preparations have been made for the referendum as there were no instructions from Baghdad to do so," Qais Muhammad said on Monday.
He said his commission was now focusing on the parliamentary election, which is set to be held in April.
"More than half of our preparations have been completed so far," he added.
At a June 7 meeting with the Kurdish parliament, Iraq's Kurdish region president Masoud Barzani announced that the region will hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25.
During and after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kurdish Peshmerga forces seized Kirkuk, prompting an influx of Kurds into the ethnically-diverse city.
Kirkuk’s population has historically been comprised mainly of Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds.
When Kirkuk’s provincial council decided to hold a referendum on the disputed city’s future in April, the council session was boycotted by Arab and Turkmen representatives.
Catalonia police spokesman Josep Lluis Trapero added that a driver who mowed down crowds of pedestrians in the first attack in a busy Barcelona street Thursday could be among five suspects later shot dead in a nearby city.
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For his part, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told RTL radio that "the number of those who have been seriously injured may perhaps be even higher at around 17."
New York Police Department officials said the force would hold a press conference but declined to provide scheduling details.
Death toll feared to rise due to severe conditions of the many injured
The pickup truck, which had an improvised white wooden trailer constructed over the back, was transporting them in "overcrowded and unsanitary conditions," said a state police report seen by AFP.
At least 13 people were killed and more than 50 injured when a driver deliberately slammed his vehicle into crowds on Barcelona's most popular street -- Las Ramblas -- in what police qualified as a "terror attack."
The van attack that mowed down pedestrians on Barcelona's most famous street on Thursday killing at least 13 people was the latest fatal assault on a European city.
The agreement to open the market potentially worth $10 million a year came after US Vice President Mike Pence met this week with Argentina's president Mauricio Macri.
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"On the side of those who combat racism and xenophobia. Our common fight, yesterday and today. #Charlottesville," he wrote on Twitter.
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