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KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces launched on Wednesday an operation to consolidate control of an area near the Iran border to be used for the transit of Iraqi oil, the military said, highlighting concern about mountainous terrain where two armed groups are active.

Iraqi oil officials announced in December plans to transport Kirkuk crude by truck to Iran's Kermanshah refinery. The trucking was to start last week and oil officials declined to give reasons for the delay other than it was technical in nature.

(Reporting by Mustafa Mahmoud; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Maher Chmaytelli)

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Reuters