By Stephen Kalin BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants struck at Kurdish forces southwest of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday, while bombs in Kirkuk, Baghdad, Samarra and Ramadi killed at least 27 people. The Sunni Islamists have often battled Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite militias further south and west, but attacks in and around Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk have been less frequent. Kurdish military sources said the peshmerga had repelled dawn attacks by Islamic State at different points along a more than 1,000 km frontline, including Khazer, west of Arbil, and Makhmur, further south. "Maybe they are afraid the fight for Mosul has started so they are trying to show they can operate close to Arbil or Kirkuk," Roj Nuri Shaways, Iraq's deputy prime minister and a peshmerga commander, told Reuters.
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