0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
BAGHDAD — A high-ranking Iraqi Army commander was among 18 soldiers killed on Saturday by suicide bombers and roadside explosions as they raided the training camp of a Qaeda affiliate in western Anbar Province near the Syrian border, Iraqi security officials said.The commander, Lt. Gen. Muhammad al-Kurawi, the head of the army’s Seventh Division, was leading the operation at the desert camp, where the Qaeda affiliate, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, had been training new members in how to make roadside bombs, according to the security officials and a statement by the Ministry of Defense. Three other high-ranking army officers and 14 soldiers were also killed, and 32 others were wounded, after two suicide bombers detonated their explosive vests and 14 roadside bombs were set off, the security officials said.ISIS is an extremist Syrian rebel group that has clashed with other insurgents seeking to topple the Syrian president. It is the leading force for foreign jihadists streaming into Syria from Iraq and other countries.The raid began after the army received information about the training camp, the statement said. After firing rockets from helicopters, it said, soldiers stormed the camp, chasing the more than 60 militants gathered there onto narrow roads. The statement did not say whether any militants were killed.Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, in a statement posted on his website, said he was ordering more forces into the deserts of western Anbar to search for militants. The government must “hit them with an iron fist,” he said.Elsewhere in Iraq, 13 other people were killed in sectarian violence. In Falluja, gunmen opened fire on a police checkpoint, killing three police officers and wounding three others, security officials said.South of Baghdad, three mortar shells fell on the road linking the capital and Karbala, killing three Shiite pilgrims on their way to visit a shrine to Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Arbaeen, the 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein, has been marred by deadly sectarian attacks in recent years.