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Turkey cannot remain indifferent to a blossoming energy market in Iraq's north and will not exert extra effort to coax parties who dislike this fact, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said on Monday in one of the minister's most stern statements recently Today`s Zaman reported.


At least 35 people were killed Wednesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up among a crowd of mourners north of Baghdad, reported dpa.

The attack occurred in the town of Tuz Khurmato, some 175 kilometres from the Iraqi capital. A further 75 people were injured, security officials said.

It comes a day after 21 people were killed in a series of attacks across central and northern Iraq.

The latest surge in violence comes amid a festering crisis pitting the Shiite-led government and the country's formerly dominant Sunni minority.


Iraq's finance minister, who has been locked in dispute with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, has escaped an apparent assassination attempt when his convoy was struck by a roadside bomb, his office and security sources say, Al Jazeera reported.

Rafa al-Essawi's convoy had been travelling between the towns of Fallujah and Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, when the bomb went off at around 7pm local time (16:00 GMT) on Sunday, the officials said.

"A roadside bomb exploded near his convoy. His car was not hit and he is safe, but two guards were wounded," a spokesman for Essawi's office said.


Ebrahim Aqa-Mohammadi, a member of Iran's Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said West and Saudi Arabia are attempting to undermine Iraq's national unity, Press TV reported.

Aqa-Mohammadi made the remark in an interview with the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) on Sunday.

"The West and Saudi Arabia intend to break up Iraq by targeting its national unity," Aqa-Mohammadi said.

He also noted that the West and some other Arab countries seek instability in the Middle Eastern country by provoking sectarian conflicts there.


Three policemen were killed Friday in an attack on a security checkpoint north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a media report quoting security officials said, dpa reported.

The assault in Taj was carried out by unknown gunmen, the Alsumaria News website said.

Violence in Iraq has dropped in recent years, but near-daily attacks still take place amid a growing political crisis resulting from wrangling between the country's Sunni Muslim politicians and Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.


Iraq's economy should grow 9 percent this year as the OPEC nation's oil production expands and international reserves are expected at between $105-$110bn by the end of this year, a central bank official said on Friday.

Iraq has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves and is producing more than 3 million barrels of crude per day for the first time in three decades as its industry recovers from years of war and sanctions.


A US defence contractor whose subsidiary was accused of conspiring to torture detainees at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has paid $5.28m to 71 former inmates held there between 2003 and 2007 Al Jazeera reported.

Tuesday's settlement marks the first successful effort by lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib and other US-run detention centres to collect money from a US defence contractor in lawsuits alleging torture.

Another contractor, CACI, is expected to go to trial over similar allegations this summer.


Iraq closed a border crossing with Jordan on Wednesday after Sunni Muslim demonstrators blocked a highway to Syria and Jordan as part of mass protests challenging Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's delicate power-sharing government, Reuters reported.

Baghdad ordered troops to shut the Traibil border post in the Sunni heartland province of Anbar, where protests erupted in late December after authorities arrested the bodyguards of a Sunni finance minister, local officials said.


Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Wednesday Turkey did not want to be a part of a solution to any problem between Iraq's central government and the administration in the country's north, Anadolu Agency reported.


The Turkish Air Force has fired on camps holding the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party in northern Iraq today, the Milliyet newspaper reported on Thursday.

Camps in the Zap and Kandil regions were subjected to intense firepower with eight F-16 fighters targeting five militant camps for four hours.

The Turkish army resumed military operations against the PKK militants after they became active again.