Iraq army kills ISIL commander in Mosul

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A commander of the al-Qaeda splinter, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been killed in Mosul as Iraqi forces continue pushing back the militants.

Media reports said on Saturday that Abu Omar al-Esseily was killed in an attack on his car in the militant-held city, which is the provincial capital of the Nineveh province.

There were no immediate details about the ISIL commander’s death.

Mosul, Iraq’s second city, fell to the hands of the ISIL militants on June 10, before the capture of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad.

Rights groups say around half a million people have been uprooted in and around Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that the country’s security forces would confront the terrorists, calling Mosul seizure a “conspiracy.”

Earlier in the day, Iraqi forces took control of number of towns in Salah al-Din and Diyala provinces.

Major Shia clerics, namely Sheikh Bashir al-Najafi and Seyyed Mortada Qazwini, as well as Iraqi Sunni scholar Sheikh Ahmed al-Kabisi of Basra and a number of other influential Shia and Sunni clerics across the nation have called on their communities to heed the call by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to take up arms against the terrorist threat.

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