250 to 300 workers evacuated from Iraq's Baiji refinery during brief truce in fighting - witness from refinery

BAGHDAD, June 19 Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:39am EDT

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BAGHDAD, June 19 (Reuters) - The last of the trapped workers in Iraq's Baiji refinery were freed during a brief truce in the fighting between the Iraqi military and Sunni militants for control of the strategic facility, according to one of the workers who was released

There had been 15,800 workers at the refinery and 100 foreign experts, most of whom had left by Tuesday when the plant was shut down by the government in anticipation of the attack.

The workers were escorted out according to an arrangement brokered by local sheiks for the employees to be taken out on buses, the released worker said.

The Sunni militants, led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, attacked Baiji early Wednesday morning. Fighting has raged since as Sunni fighters poured into the compound and the Iraqi military fought back, according to the eye witness. (Reporting By Ned Parker; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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