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Iraq appoints Arab has head of disputed Kirkuk

A general view from the streets in Kirkuk, Iraq after the referendum on 15 October 2017 [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has appointed Arab politician Rakan Saeed to replace Najmiddin Karim as governor of the disputed province of Kirkuk.

Karim was ousted from his post following his support for the Kurdistan Regional Government's independence referendum which was held on 25 September and which resulted in overwhelming support for separation from Iraq.

Around five million residents of the Iraqi Kurdish region turned to the ballot boxes to vote for separation from Iraq. News reports said that the turnout rate was 72 per cent.

Saeed is currently leader of the Arabic Council in Kirkuk.

The Arab political parties formed the Arabic Council in June 2016 as a "political umbrella" to mobilise Arab parties in the city.

Read: Kurds block Iraqi forces access to Kirkuk's oil fields, airbase

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