In Iraq, scores of people have been killed in a fresh fighting for Baquba city between ISIL fighters and the government forces.

The country's biggest refinery at Baiji has been shut down due to the fighting, hitting fuel and power supplies.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has appealed for national unity.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has urged the Iraqi government to initiate inclusive dialogue to resolve the crisis.

In a statement, he said there is a real risk of further sectarian violence on a massive scale within Iraq and beyond its borders.

Meanwhile, in Washington, President Obama is meeting congressional leaders today to discuss the emerging situation in Iraq and his option of air strikes.

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