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Kurds in Northern Iraq Elect Regional President

  • VOA News

Kurdish lawmakers in northern Iraq have elected nationalist Massoud Barzani as regional president, giving Kurds the promise of greater autonomy after decades of oppression under Saddam Hussein. Mr. Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, will be formally sworn in Tuesday.

His long-time rival, Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, became president of Iraq's power-sharing government earlier this year. In other developments, insurgents have freed French journalist Florence Aubenas and her driver, who were taken hostage in Baghdad five months ago. Ms. Aubenas immediately returned to France, arriving in Paris early Sunday evening. Meanwhile, Iraqi police say the bound, decomposing bodies of 20 unidentified men have been found on a military firing range in suburban Baghdad. Separately, the U.S. military says four American soldiers were killed by roadside bombs Saturday in two incidents west of the capital.

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