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Iraq affirms control over Baiji oil refinery

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 01:53

The Iraqi government says the army has thwarted an attack on the country's largest oil refinery at Baiji, as militants consolidate their grip on Sunni provinces. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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Officials say Iraq's largest oil refinery at Baiji remains in government hands. They release this video of the site. Earlier, militants claimed to have seized the Baiji refinery, north of Baghdad. But this Iraqi official says the army thwarted the attack by al-Qaeda offshoot, I-S-I-L (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAJOR-GENERAL QASSIM ATTA AL-MOUSSAWI, SAYING: "Yesterday, we repelled an attempt to attack Baiji refinery and we killed all the militants who approached the perimeter of Baiji refinery. Baiji refinery has turned into a graveyard for the coward militants." Baghdad is racing against time as the insurgents consolidate their grip on Sunni provinces. Several thousand people arrive at a refugee camp Thursday, after I-S-I-L took control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city last week. This woman is frustrated by the poor conditions. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED REFUGEE WOMAN, SAYING: "I have seven kids, all of them are girls. You can go and see our tent. It has nothing. We don't even have a thermos bottle for water." South of the capital, relatives mourn loved ones killed in a suicide bomb attack on the city's outdoor market. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAHMOUDIYA RESIDENT, FADHIL AL-ISSAWI, SAYING: "Wht did they do to deserve to be killed? They are all poor people. We pray to God to have mercy upon their soul." No one is immediately claiming responsibility for the attack. The fighting threatens to rupture the country two and a half years after the end of U.S. troops left the country. Sunni insurgents blame Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for marginalizing their sect during eight years in power.

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Iraq affirms control over Baiji oil refinery

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 01:53