Tuesday 24 June 2014


Iraq crisis: Key oil refinery 'seized by rebels'
Iraq's biggest oil refinery at Baiji, north of Baghdad, is reported to have been fully captured by Sunni rebels

23 June, 2014, 22.45 GMT

The refinery had been under siege for 10 days with the militant offensive being repulsed several times.

The refinery supplies a third of Iraq's refined fuel and the battle has already led to petrol rationing.

Insurgents, led by the group Isis, are expanding their control of towns in the north and west and have captured all border crossings to Syria and Jordan.

They are also bearing down on a vital dam near Haditha.

A rebel spokesman said the Baiji refinery, in Salahuddin province, would now be handed over to local tribes to administer.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Irbil, northern Iraq, says the capture of the refinery is essential if the rebels are to keep control of the areas they have conquered and to supply the captured city of Mosul with energy

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