BAGHDAD – At least five senior Iraqi army officers and 10 other soldiers were killed Saturday in an ambush by suspected Al Qaeda-linked militants in the western province of Al Anbar.
Fourteen other soldiers were wounded in the attack, a spokesperson for the police in Ramadi, Al Anbar’s capital, told Efe.
The fatalities include the commander of the army’s 7th Division and the commander of that division’s 1st Brigade.
The military men were killed in a powerful blast at the entrance to a militant hide-out in a region some 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Ramadi.
The militants planted the explosives before fleeting the scene, the police spokesperson said.
Authorities accused the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has stepped up its attacks on Iraqi security forces in recent months, of responsibility for the ambush.
A recent rise in sectarian violence and terrorist attacks in Iraq left 948 people – mostly civilians – dead in November, according to the government.