Islamic State suicide bomber kills two Iraqi generals
Published 27/08/2015 | 09:24
An Islamic State suicide bomber has killed two Iraqi army generals as they led forces against IS positions in the turbulent Anbar province west of Baghdad.
They said the bomber drove his vehicle, loaded with explosives, into the advancing troops north of Anbar's provincial capital, Ramadi, killing the two generals and three soldiers.
A military spokesman said 10 other soldiers were wounded.
The IS group captured Ramadi earlier this year and also controls the nearby city of Fallujah.
In Syria, IS militants seized five villages from rebel groups in the north as part of an advance towards the strategic town of Marea near the Turkish border.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other activist groups said IS carried out a suicide bombing on the outskirts of Marea amid fierce fighting in the area.
The Turkish Dogan news agency also reported renewed fighting between IS and rebels across the border from Kilis and said the US-led coalition bombed IS targets in the region.
The IS advance is in the northern countryside of Aleppo province, near the area where Turkey and the United States have agreed to establish an IS-free safe zone.
A military statement read on Iraqi state television identified the two generals as Major General Abdul-Rahman Abu-Regheef, deputy chief of operations in Anbar, and Brigadier General Sefeen Abdul-Maguid, commander of the 10th Army Division.
The two were later given a military funeral at the Defence Ministry in Baghdad with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi leading mourners.
Government forces and allied Sunni and Shiite militiamen have been battling IS militants in Anbar for months but have only made modest gains against the group in the vast province that stretches west of Baghdad.
Speaking on state television, military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya al-Zobeidi sought to play down the psychological effect of the loss of the two generals. "We will not stop our operations and we will continue to advance," he said.
There was no immediate comment on the attack from the IS group.