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Iraqi Kurds Say They Have Not Seen New Oil Bill


Iraq's Kurdish regional government says it has not yet had a chance to review a new draft law on oil revenue-sharing that was approved by the Iraqi Cabinet on Tuesday.

The Kurdish government said in a statement Wednesday that it hopes the Cabinet has not approved a text the Kurds would disagree with because that would violate their constitutional rights.

The new draft law is a revised version of one the Cabinet approved in February. But some factions rejected that version, forcing a re-negotiation that produced the current bill. The details of the bill have not been released.

The United States sees the long-stalled bill as a crucial step toward Iraqi national reconciliation. Iraq has the world's third largest oil reserves, but most of the oil is concentrated in the mainly Shi'ite south and Kurdish north, with little in the Sunni-controlled central region.

Tuesday, a car bombing in a Shi'ite district of Baghdad killed at least 18 people and wounded 35 more.

In other news, the U.S. military said insurgents shot down a U.S. helicopter Monday near Baghdad, but attack helicopters rescued the two slightly wounded pilots.

U.S. military officials also said coalition forces killed three terrorists, including an al-Qaida in Iraq leader, and detained 29 others during a raid in Taji.

Separately, the military said coalition forces detained three suspects with known terrorist connections and nine other associates in the Adhamiya district of Baghdad on Monday. It also said Iraqi army forces destroyed an al-Qaida bomb factory during an operation northeast of Fallujah that day.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.