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Iran vows to defend Iraq Shi’ite sites; insurgents battle for refinery

BAGHDAD: Iran's president vowed on Wednesday to defend Shi'ite holy sites in Iraq, where Sunni militants battled their way into the biggest oil refinery in what is rapidly turning into a sectarian war across the frontiers of the Middle East. Sunni fighters were in control of three quarters of the territory of the Baiji refinery north of Baghdad, an official said there, after a morning of heavy fighting at gates defended by elite troops under siege for a week. A lightning advance has seen Sunni fighters rout the Shi'ite-led…