December 11, 2016 / 12:44 PM / 7 months ago

Iraqi commander wounded in mortar attack south of Mosul

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Members of the Iraqi Army fire towards Islamic State militant positions at the south of Mosul, Iraq December 10, 2016.Alaa Al-Marjani

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - An Iraqi military commander was wounded and one of his bodyguards killed when Islamic State militants fired mortar shells at his convoy south of Mosul on Sunday, officers from the local military command told Reuters.

They said a convoy carrying Lieutenant-General Jumaa Inad, head of operations in Salahuddin province, came under attack near the town of Shirqat where Iraqi forces are fighting to retake an Islamic State-held enclave.

He had wounds to his head and arm and was flown to a hospital in Erbil, they said.

The fighting around Shirqat, in Salahuddin province, is part of a wider military campaign against Islamic State in the north of the country. U.S.-backed Iraqi force has been battling for eight weeks to crush the militants in Mosul, the largest city under Islamic State control in Iraq and Syria.

Inad was visiting troops in the village of Ganous, on the eastern bank of the Tigris river about 90 km (60 miles) south of Mosul.

Reporting by Ghazwan Hassan

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