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Baghdad demands Hashimi from Kurds

The Associated Press reports:

Iraq's Shiite-led government on Sunday demanded that authorities in the semiautonomous Kurdish region hand over the country's top Sunni official to face terrorism charges, turning up the heat in a political crisis that is stoking sectarian tensions.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi traveled to the Kurdish north in December just as the last American troops were leaving the country and charges against him were being drawn up.

The government accuses him of running a hit squad that assassinated government and security officials years ago — allegations he denies. Fellow Sunnis, who made up the dominant political class under Saddam Hussein, see the charges as part of an effort to sideline them.

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