Iraqi security forces take part in an intensive security deployment against ISIS militants in the town of Amriyat al-Falluja in Anbar province, November 9, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)
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Iraqi soldiers battling the Islamic State group recaptured most of the town of Beiji, home to the country's largest oil refinery, state television and a provincial governor said Tuesday.Hours after news from Beiji broke, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a military outpost in the Tarmiyah district north of Baghdad, killing seven soldiers and wounding 13 others, according to police and hospital officials. Those killed included the post's commander, a major, and two other officers, a captain and lieutenant, they said.State television quoted the top army commander in Beiji, Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, as saying troops recaptured Beiji's local government and police headquarters at the center of the town.Al-Saadi later spoke to state television by telephone but the line appeared to be cut off after he said his forces were meeting stiff resistance. Raed Ibrahim, the governor of Salahuddin province, where both Beiji and Tikrit are located, said the military had secured about 75 percent of the town as of Tuesday, retaking the center of the town and outlying districts. He said government forces continued to meet fierce resistance from the militants, whom he said were using suicide bombers to stall the military's advance.The officials, however, said the forces had blocked access to Beiji from Anbar province, where militants control vast swaths of land, prior to their assault on the town to prevent militant reinforcements from reaching the city.
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