Kirkuk Cuts Off Electricity to Baghdad

According to a report from AFP, Iraq's northern Kirkuk province said it had stopped supplying electricity to the national grid on Tuesday, in a bold move to force the central government's hand in a dispute over power rationing.

"Kirkuk province has decided to cut the power going out from its electricity stations to other provinces and to keep the power for the province until the ministry of electricity does something about our power cuts," said the province's governor, Abdulrahman Mustafa.

Rizgar Ali, chairman of Kirkuk's provincial council, said the procedure of separating from the national grid was completed on Tuesday evening.

He complained that nothing had been done about the electricity situation in Kirkuk.

"Unfortunately, we didn't see any political step or intention from the government to help our people," he told AFP.

National Deputy Electricity Minister, Aamer al-Duri, earlier described the cuts as "illegal" as he said a ministry delegation had been sent to Kirkuk on Tuesday to try to resolve the dispute.

"Kirkuk is not the only province which suffers from power cuts," he told AFP. "It's the same for all provinces like Baghdad, Nineveh and others."

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