Five senior army officers, 10 soldiers killed in Iraq
December 22, 2013 - 6:03:45 am
RAMADI: Five senior Iraqi officers, including a major general, and 10 soldiers were killed yesterday in a raid on an
Al Qaeda hideout in the west of the country, military
Violence elsewhere killed five policemen, including the head of a precinct in Al Sharqat district northwest of Baghdad, and wounded five others, police and medics said.
Major General Mohammed Al Karoui, who headed the army’s 7th Division, was leading an assault on a “hideout of the Al Qaeda” network in Sunni-majority Anbar province near the Syrian border.
He was killed along with four other senior army officers and 10 soldiers when they stormed booby-trapped buildings, the military sources said.
“The bombs exploded when the troops entered the buildings,” near Rutba, 380km west of Baghdad, they said.
The Defence Ministry said the operation was launched after reports that Al Qaeda militants had set up camps in the
area to train militants in bomb-making.
“Intelligence indicated that the terrorist Al Qaeda network opened camps to train its terrorist elements to make bombs and explosive belts, and that more than 60 terrorists were present in the Wadi Huran region west of Anbar province,” a statement said.
It said reconnaissance flights pinpointed targets which the air force then bombed, ahead of the ground assault.
Karoui’s unit was tracking fleeing suspects when a bomb exploded killing the major general, the other officers and the soldiers, the statement added.
Prime Minister Nouri
Al Maliki, who also heads the armed forces, issued a statement of condolences.
“Those heroes were carrying out the most noble battles against the enemies of God and humanity who have killed Iraqis,” Maliki said in the statement. AFP