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Iraqi supreme court suspends Kurdish referendum

Iraq's supreme court has temporarily suspended the northern Kurdish region's referendum on independence, scheduled for next week.

The court said it "issued a national order to suspend the referendum procedures scheduled ... until the resolution of the cases regarding the constitutionality of said decision".

The Kurdish region planned to hold the vote on support for independence on September 25 in the three provinces that make up the area, as well as disputed territories claimed by both the Kurdish region and Baghdad.

Baghdad, regional leaders and the United States - a key ally of Iraq's Kurds - have repeatedly called on the region to hold off on the vote, fearing it could contribute to instability as Iraqi forces continue to battle Islamic State.

The Kurdish region has repeatedly ignored calls from Baghdad that the vote is unconstitutional and it is unclear if the federal court's ruling will alter plans to carry out the referendum.

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