IS 'captures large parts of Iraq's Baiji oil refinery'
The Islamic State group has made a new advance on the Baiji oil refinery in the Iraqi governorate of Salaheddin, taking control over large parts of it, a local source has told al-Araby al-Jadeed.
IS has made repeated attempts over the past 10 months to capture Baiji oil refinery north of Baghdad, seizing parts of the facility and holding out for days in April, but Iraqi forces were able to regain full control soon after.
However, the source said the group had now taken control of approximately three-quarters of the complex.
"Since Thursday, the Islamic State group has entered the refinery, launching quick attacks from multiple directions to confuse security forces," the source said.
A security force also said that the group was "attempting to advance to the centre of the refinery", adding that there were intense battles between the fighters and security forces.
The security source called on the government for "urgent reinforcements and air cover to save the situation in the refinery."
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A member of the Salaheddin tribal council, Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Fraji, criticised the government’s security policy in the region saying "The dangerous realities on the ground should be avoided before they escalate" adding that IS still "poses a threat to the entire province".
The IS also carried out a series of deadly car bombings in Shia districts of Iraq's capital to "avenge attacks" on displaced people from a Sunni province.
Eleven people were killed and more than 40 wounded in a wave of car bomb attacks on Thursday, medics said.
The interior ministry reported three bombings, although IS said in a statement it carried out six attacks "to avenge residents of Anbar killed in the streets of Baghdad" by Shias.
Since the start of April, 114,000 residents have fled fighting between government forces and IS in the western province which is largely controlled by the Sunni extremist group, according to UN figures.