World Bulletin / News Desk
An estimated 60 foreign workers, including 15 Turks, were captured by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in northeastern Iraq on Tuesday afternoon, according to a released hostage.
The workers were captured by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rebels in the Hamrin mountains while fleeing from clashes in many Iraqi cities, Turgay Hermzlo, an Iraqi worker, who was captured with the group and later released, told Anadolu Agency.
"When we reached the Hamrin mountains, ISIL militants stopped the vehicles that were carrying us. We were more than 100 workers but after verifying our identities, they freed Iraqis nationals and detained 60 foreign workers, including 15 Turks as well as Pakistani, Nepalese and Turkmen."
He said that the Turks are engineers working in Tikrit on the construction of a private hospital, adding that ”all foreign workers were heading to Sulaimaniyah International Airport in Sulaymaniyah city, controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga forces."
The Hamrin mountains extend from the Diyala province bordering Iran, northwest of the Tigris River; crossing northern Salah ad-Din province and southern Kirkuk province.
On June 11, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the Turkish consul along with 49 staff and family members were abducted by ISIL rebels in Mosul. The abductees are safe and efforts are ongoing to ensure their release.
On June 10, 31 Turkish truck drivers, who were delivering fuel to a power plant in Iraq, were also kidnapped in the Qayyarah district of Mosul.
ISIL take over Baiji oil refinery
ISIL rebels have taken control of most of Iraq's largest oil refinery, located in Baiji in northern Iraq, an official at the refinery said on Wednesday.
The attack started at 4 am (0100 GMT) from outside two of the three main entrances to the sprawling facility, the sources said.
One mortar hit a spare-parts warehouse and smoke billowed from the building, the sources said. On Tuesday, foreigners were evacuated from the refinery as security forces braced for an attack on the compound.
"The militants have managed to break in to the refinery. Now they are in control of the production units, administration building and four watch towers. This is 75 percent of the refinery," an official speaking from inside the refinery said.
He says clashes continue near the main control room with security forces.Last Mod: 18 Haziran 2014, 11:58