Dispatch to follow:
Meanwhile, progress on Iraq's new constitution ran into another snag as Iraqi Kurds threaten not to back down from demands for a federal state despite problems this may create in meeting an Aug. 15 deadline that U.S. officials are pushing.
Massoud Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, also said Kurds would never dissolve their militias and repeated demands for the return of ethnic Kurds to the oil-rich Kirkuk area from which tens of thousands of them were expelled under
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Barzani's comments, broadcast by Al-Arabiya television, indicated the Kurds are standing firm on longtime demands at a time when the United States is urging all sides to compromise in order to finish the new constitution by the Aug. 15 deadline.