Dec 12, 1:24 PM EST

UN probes abuses in Iraqi town where troops fought Kurds

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BAGHDAD (AP) -- The U.N. mission to Iraq says it is investigating allegations of human rights abuses in a disputed Iraqi town where federal forces clashed with Kurdish fighters in October.

The U.N. said Tuesday that it launched the probe after reports of people fleeing the town of Tuz Khormato, where some 150 homes belonging to Kurds and ethnic Turkmen were reportedly set ablaze.

The fighting broke out in October when federal forces seized disputed areas held by the Kurds outside their autonomous region in response to an independence referendum held the previous month.

Most Kurdish forces withdrew from Tuz Khormato and other areas without a fight when Iraqi troops and state-backed Shiite paramilitary forces moved in.

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