ERBIL— A convoy of Shi'ite paramilitaries of Hashd al-Shaabi has arrived in Kirkuk after coordinating with local security service, said a security source from the city.
Some 15 vehicles carried the troops under the command of Abu Mahdi al-Muhands.
The troops have come to Kirkuk to visit a Badr Organization force and have taken permission from the security service in Kirkuk for this "temporal" stay, the source said.
"Their arrival is not related to referendum and Hawija operation," he added. Tensions run high in Kirkuk as the time for holding the independence referendum of the Kurdistan Region on September 25 gets closer.
Kirkuk province has also decided to run the referendum through the decision has been rejected by the Iraqi government.
The delay in liberating the Islamic State (IS)-held town of Hawija, southwest of the city of Kirkuk, has also added up to concerns.