Hostages held in ISIS attack on oil field near Kirkuk, Iraq


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Four employees of an Iraqi oil company are being held hostage after armed militants attacked an oil field near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Sunday, a senior security source in the city told CNN.

The ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack.

Four attackers, believed to be wearing suicide vests, stormed the Bai Hassan oil field northwest of of the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, and took the staff — employees of the Iraqi North Oil Company — hostage, the source said.

One attacker remains in the facility, two were killed by security forces and another detonated himself when security forces responded, the source said.

The number of casualties is not known.

4 killed in earlier attack

Earlier Sunday, gunmen attacked a nearby gas compression facility owned by the same company, but were pushed back by security sources.

Four staff were killed and another was injured during the attack on the facility, known as AB, in the Bajwan area in northwestern Kirkuk, police Gen. Sarhad Qader said.

The attackers fled to an unknown location after being pushed back by security forces, but planted several bombs near the facility before they left, Qader said.

No claim of responsibility has been issued over the attack.

ISIS has previously coordinated attacks on energy facilities in the oil-rich region.

Kirkuk is one of Iraq’s disputed areas, claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Production at Bai Hassan, which pumps crude via a pipeline to the Turkish port city of Ceyhan, has temporarily stopped due to the attack, the security source said.

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