Iraq army general killed by shelling

July 07, 2014 - 2:42:00 pm

BAGHDAD: Shelling west of Baghdad killed the commander of the Iraqi army's 6th division on Monday, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's security spokesman said. 

Major General Najm Abdullah Sudan "was killed by hostile shelling in Ibrahim bin Ali," Lieutenant General Qassem Atta told AFP by text message.

Ibrahim bin Ali lies in the Abu Ghraib area, just west of Baghdad, near where security forces have been locked in a months-long standoff with militants who have seized control of the city of Fallujah.

The government lost control of Fallujah and parts of nearby Ramadi in January, and Iraqi forces have struggled to retake both cities.

More recently, a jihadist-led offensive overran swathes of four other provinces north of Baghdad, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, alarming the international community and heaping pressure on Maliki as he bids for a third term as premier.

Sudani is the latest in a series of senior Iraqi officers to be killed by militants and the highest-ranking casualty since a major jihadist-led offensive began on June 9.

On December 29, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle near a military convoy in the northern city of Mosul, killing four soldiers, among them a brigadier general, a colonel and a lieutenant colonel.

And five senior officers, including a division commander, were among 15 soldiers killed during an operation against militants in Iraq's Anbar province on December 21. (AFP)