Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – A prominent Iranian militiaman was killed while embattling militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in Samarra, north of Baghdad, Iranian local media reported on Monday.
Mehdi Noruzi was a member of Iran’s Basij militia and has a long record of battles in Syrian and Iraq. He was reportedly nicknamed the “Lion of Samarra”.
Noruzi was killed during clashes between his group and fighters of IS on Sunday.
“He was killed while defending the oppressed people of Iraq and holy shrines against revisionist terrorists in Samarra,” Iranian state agency of Fars said.
Samarra is a key front in the war between the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim fighters of Islamic State and Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government, which is being helped to stem the Islamic State’s advance by an unspecified numbers of advisers and combatants from Shi’ite Iran.
Last month, an Iranian general was killed by sniper fire in Samarra, where a notable Shi’ite saint, Imam Hassan Askari, is buried.
Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri
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