Jan. 20 - Two car bombs in Kirkuk kill two people and wound 13 others. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Two car bombs went off in Iraq's ethnically-mixed city of Kirkuk, killing two people and wounding 13 others on Sunday (January 19), police sources said. The first blast took place in the southeastern part of the city, 250 km (155 miles) north of the capital Baghdad. The second car bomb exploded in the western part of the city. Kirkuk is rich in oil and lies on the front line of a dispute between the Shi'ite-led central government in Baghdad and ethnic Kurds who want the city to be incorporated into their autonomous region in the north of the country. A referendum to determine Kirkuk's status was supposed to be conducted in 2007, but political discord prevented it from being carried out. The violence is part of a sustained campaign of militant attacks since the start of the year, that has prompted warnings of wider conflict in a country where ethnic Kurds and Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims have yet to find a stable power-sharing compromise. Two years after U.S. troops left Iraq, violence has spiked to its highest levels since the Sunni-Shi'ite bloodletting of 2006-2007, when tens of thousands of people were killed.