Iranian general killed by sniper bullet in embattled Iraqi city

Iranian general killed by sniper bullet in embattled Iraqi city
Pro-Iraqi government fighters hold a machine gun as they look on during a siege from the Islamic State (IS) group on the outskirts of the Shiite Muslim area of Aziz Balad in the Saladeddin province, north of Tikrit on December 15, 2014.

DUBAI - A sniper killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander who was training Iraqi troops and Shi'ite militia fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in the Iraqi city of Samarra, official Iranian media reported on Sunday.

Brigadier General Hamid Taqavi, a veteran of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, was killed by snipers hiding behind a power transformer in Samarra, an embattled city north of Baghdad and home to holy Shi'ite shrines, they said, quoting a Revolutionary Guards' statement.

Several people with him were wounded in the rain of sniper fire, they said.

"Taqavi became a martyr while fulfilling his duty as a military adviser in the fight against Daesh (IS) revisionist terrorists, a glorious end to a long valuable service to advance the cause of (Iran's 1979) Islamic revolution." said the official Defence Ministry site.

It said the general had fought "enemies on various fronts."

Unspecified numbers of Iranian advisors and combatants are defending holy Shi'ite sites in Iraq and Syria against raids by Sunni Jihadi fighters. Iran sent reinforcements to Iraq to help stave off an advance on Baghdad by IS militants this year at the request of Iraqi government and Shi'ite leaders.

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