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Water shortages raise Iraq ethnic tensions

Arab farmers accuse Kurds of ruining them

A worsening water shortage in Iraq is raising tensions in the multi-ethnic Kirkuk province, where Arab farmers accuse the Kurdistan region of ruining them by closing the valves to a dam in winter.

"We are harmed by the Kurds, and the officials responsible for Baghdad and Kirkuk will not lift a finger," said Sheikh Khaled al-Mafraji, a leader of the Arab Political Council that groups mainly Sunni tribal leaders.

At the heart of the conflict is the Dukan dam, built in 1955 in Iraq's northern autonomous region of Kurdistan, 75 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Kirkuk province.