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Iraq's northern Kurdish region says it completes 1st crude oil sale without Baghdad's consent

FILE - In this May 31, 2009 file photo, an employee works at the Tawke oil fields in the semiautonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Iraq's self-ruled northern Kurdish region said Friday that it has made its first oil shipment through its own pipeline to the international market, bypassing the central government in Baghdad, which insists that it has the sole right to develop and market the country's natural resources. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

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FILE - In this May 31, 2009 file photo, an employee works at the Tawke oil fields in the semiautonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Iraq's self-ruled northern Kurdish region said Friday that it has made its first oil shipment through its own pipeline to the international market, bypassing the central government in Baghdad, which insists that it has the sole right to develop and market the country's natural resources. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

BAGHDAD - Iraq's self-ruled northern Kurdish region says it has completed its first oil shipment to the international market, bypassing the central government in Baghdad.

Baghdad's Arab-led government and ethnic Kurds have a long-running dispute over the right to develop and export natural resources as both rely on different interpretation of Iraq's constitution. Baghdad maintains the Kurdish region's separate energy deals are illegal.

The Kurdish Ministry of Natural Resources said in a statement Friday that over 1 million barrels were loaded Thursday night in Turkey's Ceyhan port and shipped to Europe. It didn't name the buyer or give other details.

Baghdad has warned that it will sue those buying Kurdish oil. Officials in Baghdad could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.

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