Iraq forces defeat militant push to take oil refinery

12:30 | 25.08.2014
Iraq forces defeat militant push to take oil refinery

Iraq forces defeat militant push to take oil refinery

Iraqi government forces say they have defeated a militant attack on the country's largest oil refinery, killing several insurgents, BBC reported.

The Baiji refinery in northern Iraq has been the site of several battles between government forces and militants over the past few months.

The Islamic State (IS) militant group is suspected of carrying out the attack.

Meanwhile, a car bomb killed at least seven people in the capital Baghdad.

The bombing targeted the mostly Shia district of Shula.

IS has seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months.

Since 8 August, the US has carried out more than 90 air strikes to support Iraqi and Kurdish troops tackling the insurgents.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is currently in Baghdad to talk about the growing threat posed by IS.

The militants launched their push on the Baiji refinery on Saturday and the fighting continued into Sunday, police sources and witnesses told the AFP news agency.

But the insurgents were eventually pushed back by security forces.

The refinery is an attractive target for IS militants, as it produces about a third of Iraq's oil output.

IS has already taken over large parts of northern Iraq and Syria - including oil-producing areas.

Their campaign has also displaced an estimated 1.2 million people in Iraq, many of them minority Christians and Yazidis.

On Saturday the UN called for action to prevent what it says may be a possible massacre in the northern Iraqi town of Amerli.

Amerli, under siege by IS for two months, has no electricity or drinking water, and is running out of food and medical supplies.


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