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By Maher Chmaytelli BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State launched a major counter-attack on the city of Kirkuk on Friday as Iraqi and Kurdish forces pursued operations to seize territory around Mosul in preparation for an offensive on the jihadists' last major stronghold in Iraq. Islamic State's assault on Kirkuk, which lies in an oil- producing region, killed six members of the security forces and two Iranians who were part of a team carrying out maintenance at a power station outside the city, a hospital source said. Kirkuk is located east of Hawija, a pocket still under control Islamic State that lies between Baghdad and Mosul.
Asad Shafiq led Pakistan's recovery after the early departure of the openers on the opening day of the second Test against West Indies in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Shafiq drove paceman Shannon Gabriel to the cover boundary for his sixth boundary to complete his 16th half-century after Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and opted to bat on a flat Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch. After an extended two-and-a-half-hour extended session due to Friday prayers, Pakistan were 95-2, with Shafiq on 54 and Younis Khan on 29 not out.
The European Union was scrambling Friday to salvage a massive free trade deal with Canada that was being held up by a small region in Belgium. EU leaders warned that failure to clinch the deal could ruin ...