Gunmen Attack Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery

One guard killed as protests continue
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 26, 2011 8:39 AM CST
Iraq Protests: Gunmen Attack Beiji, Country's Largest Oil Refinery, as Protests Continue
Relatives of Salim Farooq, 18, carry his coffin during his funeral procession. Farooq was killed on Friday during a demonstration in Basra, his family said.   (Nabil al-Jurani)

Gunmen attacked Iraq's largest oil refinery before dawn today, killing a guard and detonating bombs that sparked a fire and forced the facility to halt operations, officials said. The attack on Beiji began at about 3:30am. Assailants carrying pistols fitted with silencers attacked guards and planted bombs near some production units for benzene and kerosene. A second guard was wounded. Also today, health officials and police said two teens, ages 12 and 18, died of injuries sustained in the anti-government protests, bringing the death toll for the day to 14.

Yesterday, thousands marched on government buildings and clashed with security forces in cities across Iraq in an outpouring of anger, the largest and most violent anti-government protests in the country since political unrest began spreading in the Arab world weeks ago. The Washington Post reports 23 were killed in yesterday's "Day of Rage" protests. (More Iraq stories.)

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