Middle East

Attacks in Baghdad as security forces try to repel oil refinery targeted by IS


Attacks in and around Baghdad have killed at least 14 civilians, as Iraqi security forces repelled an attack by the Islamic State group on the country’s largest oil refinery, officials said.

Seven people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a commercial area in the town of Mahmoudiyah, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, police said.

The car was parked in a mainly Shiite section of town near a bakery and went off as people were standing in line to buy bread.

Another 13 civilians were wounded in the attack, police said.

Hours later, another car bomb exploded in a car park outside Baghdad’s Yarmouk Hospital, killing four civilians and wounding 10, a police official said.

Three more civilians were killed and eight wounded when a bomb ripped through an outdoor market in Baghdad’s northern Sabi al-Bor area, police added.

Three medical officials confirmed the casualty figures.

The bombings came a day after attacks in and around Baghdad killed at least 15 civilians. The Islamic State group and other Sunni extremists carry out near-daily attacks targeting Iraq’s
security forces and Shiite majority.

Meanwhile, the deputy governor of the northern Salahuddin province said IS militants had used suicide armoured car bombs to try to break into the Beiji refinery over the past two days. Ammar Hikmat said security forces repelled the attacks and remain in control of the facility.

He said more than 20 militants were killed during the clashes and that several security forces were killed or wounded.

“We call upon the central government to send reinforcements immediately. The soldiers defending the refinery are exhausted and they are in need of any kind of help in order to withstand the attacks,” he said.

Oil minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said yesterday that Iraqi forces, backed by US-led coalition air strikes, had repelled an IS attack over the weekend on Beiji.

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