Islamic State kills five policemen near Iraq's Baiji refinery

June 17, 2015 20:21

Islamic State has killed five policemen in a town near Iraq's biggest refinery, in an attack that may help ease pressure on some of its fighters trapped in the strategically important facility, a security official said on Wednesday.

The official in a regional security command centre said the insurgents mounted the operation at Tal Albu Jarad village as part of a battle for control of Baiji refinery, which has changed hands several times.

After receiving reinforcements, Islamic State militants recaptured three neighborhoods in the town of Baiji near the refinery, but fresh clashes have erupted there, the security official said.

The fighting has left some Islamic State fighters trapped in the refinery, besieged by government forces and militias.

Iraq's US-backed government is focused on two key areas in its bid to loosen the grip of Islamic State, which controls a third of major oil producer Iraq and large parts of neighboring Syria.

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