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Page last updated at 06:51 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 07:51 UK

US troops on patrol in Kirkuk

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With under three months to go until parliamentary elections in Iraq, attention is focussing on the disputed city of Kirkuk.

The area is divided between Arab, Kurd and Turkmen people. No side can agree on who should control it or indeed how to share the region's vast oil wealth.

While the American forces officially withdrew from urban areas in most of Iraq at the end of June, in Kirkuk they have been quietly continuing their operations.

Gabriel Gatehouse reports.

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