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Opposition Iraqi Kurds Refuse US Aid

Sunday January 24 6:21 PM ET 

Oppostion Iraqi Kurds Refuse US Aid

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - A major Iraqi Kurdish opposition group on Sunday
turned down U.S. support for efforts to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. 

The Kurdistan Democratic Party, in a statement faxed to The Associated
Press in Cairo, said it did not want to be among seven opposition groups
President Clinton has named as eligible for $97 million in aid. 

``We do not intend to receive this kind of aid,'' the statement said. 

The KDP's leader, Massoud Barzani, reportedly has said he does not favor
toppling Saddam. 

Earlier, the Tehran-based Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq -
an umbrella for several Shiite Muslim opposition groups - said that
accepting the money would mar its reputation inside Iraq. 

Two other groups - the London-based Iraqi National Congress and the
Jordanian-based Iraqi National Accord - have welcomed the U.S. offer. 

Clinton on Tuesday designated seven organizations as eligible to receive
U.S. support under the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, which would provide overt
military aid to help overthrow Saddam. 

The KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan share control of an
autonomous zone in northern Iraq that has been under U.S. and British
protection since Baghdad crushed a rebellion there shortly after the 1991
Gulf War.

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