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The Landsat 8 satellite captured this stark view of smoke billowing from Iraq's Baiji oil refinery as a battle for control raged between Iraqi government forces and extremist Sunni militants on Wednesday. The satellite picture, taken from a height of 438 miles (705 kilometers), only hints at the fires raging below. The refinery is Iraq's largest, and its loss would be a heavy blow for the beleaguered government.

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