Iraq's parliament rejects Kurdish independence vote

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A lawmaker says the Iraqi parliament has voted to reject a controversial referendum on independence for Iraqi Kurds set for later this month.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani says the decision states that the referendum is a "threat to Iraq's integrity which is guaranteed by the constitution ... in addition to the civil peace and the regional security." Al-Mashadani says it considers the polls "unconstitutional."

He told The Associated Press that all Kurdish lawmakers boycotted Tuesday's session, while Arab lawmakers voted in favor. A breakdown for the vote was not immediately available.

Iraq's Kurds plan to hold the referendum on Sept. 25 in three governorates that make up their self-ruled region as well as disputed areas that are controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.