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Thursday, July 31, 2014, 2:24 a.m.
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Iraq fights militants around oil refinery

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published June 18, 2014 at 8:40 a.m. Updated June 18, 2014 at 10:59 a.m.

BAGHDAD — Iraqi security forces battled insurgents targeting the country's main oil refinery and said they regained partial control of a city near the Syrian border Wednesday, trying to blunt a week-long offensive by Sunni militants who diplomats fear may have also seized some 100 foreign workers.

In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki struck an optimistic tone and vowed to teach the attackers a "lesson" — even though Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts in the wake of the initial militant offensive.

"We have now started our counteroffensive, regaining the initiative and striking back," al-Maliki said.

The campaign by the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has raised the specter of the sectarian warfare that nearly tore the country apart in 2006 and 2007.

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harrison72601 says... June 18, 2014 at 8:59 a.m.

Islam is the religion of peace.

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