A senior leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been shot dead near Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, security officials say.
The officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that the ISIL leader, identified as Satam Azawi, was killed in an ambush carried out by gunmen believed to be affiliated with local tribes, DPA reported.
“Tribes in the area reject ISIL practices,” an official said.
Iraqi troops, backed by local Sunni tribesmen, are fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in the country’s western regions, including Anbar province.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry has said that militants have launched an open war in Iraq and they want to push the Middle Eastern country into chaos.
Azawi’s death came at a time the country was preparing for an important election set to be held on April 30.