A high-ranking commander of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have been killed when members of two rival foreign-sponsored militant groups operating in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala turned on each other and engaged in a fierce exchange of gunfire.
Ahmed al-Shimary of the Diyala Operations Command said the high-profile militant, better known by the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed, was killed in a clash between two Daesh groups at an orchard in the village of Mkheisa, located some 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) northeast of the provincial capital Baquba.
Shimary added that Ahmed was one of the aides of the former founder of the al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a US airstrike in 2006.
Ahmed, who is an Iraqi national, joined Daesh terrorist group in 2014, and became one of its main commanders in Diyala province.
Separately, two Daesh Takfiris were killed in a clash with security forces in the province.
10 Daesh militants killed in anti-terror raid south of Mosul
Meanwhile, a total of 10 Daesh terrorists were killed in an operation against a militant hideout south of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Baghdad.
Iraq's Joint Operations Command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul said the Interior Ministry's elite rapid response forces, backed by Iraqi Air Force fighter jets, raided the Daesh position near al-Shoura area.
Provincial police forces also captured five suspected Daesh terrorists in Mosul.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged on June 30 to hunt down Daesh militants across Iraq after a series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist group.
“We will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi said.
Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.
On July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.