• Iraqi forces, jihadists battle for oil town


    BEIRUT: Iraqi officials said on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) that government forces had captured Baiji after fierce battles for the city, home to the nation’s largest oil refinery, but anti-government militants insisted they remained in control. Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled Obeidi issue a statement lauding the military “for the great victory that was achieved in purifying [Baiji] district from the filth of the gangs of Daesh,” using the Arabic acronym for the militant group Islamic State. The state news network showed images Tuesday of jubilant soldiers and allied masked militiamen atop columns of Humvees and tanks reported to be going through central Baiji, about 125 miles north of Baghdad, the capital.



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