A roadside bomb killed the police chief of Iraq’s battleground province of Anbar Sunday, officials said, after the Pentagon expressed concern about a renewed offensive by jihadists in the area.
The attack came near the provincial capital of Ramadi, one of the few areas between Baghdad and the Syrian border not controlled by fighters loyal to the Islamic State group, provincial and police officials said.
“Major General Ahmed Saddag was killed by an IED (improvised explosive device) blast targeting his convoy this morning,” Faleh al-Issawi, the deputy head of the provincial council, told AFP.
“The blast hit the convoy as it was passing through the Abu Risha district,” just northwest of Ramadi, he said.
A senior police official in the province confirmed Saddag’s death and said four other policemen were also wounded in the attack.
“The police chief was leading forces involved in an operation to retake Twei” from IS, Colonel Abdulrahman al-Janabi said.
He said clashes between government forces and the jihadists had erupted in the area on Saturday evening.
The Shiite-led government’s footprint is shrinking in the vast Sunni Arab-dominated province, which has borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well as Syria, and has become a jihadist stronghold.