Baghdad, Oct 23 : A general commander of an Iraqi police division was killed alongside five of his men, including a brigadier general, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State terror organization in the Middle Eastern country's Saladin province.
A group of assailants carrying automatic arms attacked a joint patrol of police and Popular Mobilization Forces on Tuesday, a pro-government militia mainly compressed of Shiite Iraqis, by the banks of Tigris River, a spokesperson for Saladin's Operations Command Mohamed Kamel told Efe.
The attack killed Commander of the IV Police Division, General Ali al-Lemi; the operations director of that division, brigadier general Mohamed Alawi and five other members who accompanied them.
Four people, including an officer, that were injured have been moved to a nearby hospital, according to the source.
The patrol was carrying out a reconnaissance mission in preparation for launching a security operation in the area, where IS members are present, according to Kamel.
Minister of Interior Yaseen al-Yasiri confirmed to the state-run al-Iraquia TV the death of al-Lemi, "while he was facing an IS attack".
The attack took place amid the arrival of forces of the United States, which leads an anti-terror international coalition, in Iraq coming from northern Syria.
The American forces withdrew from northern Syria after Turkey launched an offensive on 9 October.
Joint Operations Command, however, warned that the US forces cannot stay in Iraq.
Although Baghdad declared the end of IS in Iraq in December 2017 after a bloody, long offensive, the terror group is still present in the country.
It daily claims attacks on security forces or civilians across the country.