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Islamist-led militants attack Iraq’s biggest oil refinery

Islamist-led militants attack Iraq’s biggest oil refinery

PanARMENIAN.Net - Islamist-led militants have attacked Iraq's biggest oil refinery with mortars and machine guns, reportedly attacking from two directions, BBC News reported.

Smoke billowed from a spare parts warehouse on the site at Baiji, 210km (130 miles) north of Baghdad, security and refinery sources told Reuters.

Government forces have made new air strikes on militants advancing towards the capital. Fighting is also reported in the western city of Ramadi.

The government is fighting to push back ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) and its Sunni Muslim allies in Diyala and Salahuddin provinces, after the militants overran the second city, Mosul, last week.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appeared on television with Sunni Muslim and Kurdish leaders on Tuesday, June 17 to issue a call for national unity in the face of the advance - they demanded that non-state forces lay down their arms.

However, such a call is unlikely to have much effect as Maliki has openly sponsored the formation of Shia Muslim militias to fight alongside regular Iraqi troops, BBC News said.

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"The necessary funds are and will continue being allocated, including those for the purchase of new modern weapons," he said.
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