Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) A famous British sniper fighting for the Islamic State was killed by anonymous attackers west of Mosul, a local source was quotes saying.
Alsumaria News quoted the source saying that Abu Moussa al-Muhajer was killed, while an Australian companion was wounded when unknown ugnmen shot at them on the outskirts of Tal Afar, one of the group’s largest remaining havens in Iraq.
The pair was running a security patrol on a highway in the town, according to the source.
“Abu Moussa al-Muhajer gained his fame from his sharp remote sniping skills, which earned him the ‘sniper of the caliphate’ title,” the source said.
He added that there were between 20 and 30 British nationals fighting for the Islamic State in Tal Afar, some of whom fill senior ranks within the group.
IS held Tal Afar since 2014, when it took over Mosul and declared it the capital of its self-styled “caliphate”. Operations by pro-government paramilitary troops have so far isolated the enclave from the Syrian borders and from Mosul. It is a main target for the next Iraqi government operations against IS.
Tal Afar has seen occasional, mysterious killings of IS militants, with reports recurrently telling of serious divisions within the group’s members there.
On Wednesday, Hakem al-Zamili, chairman of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, said Iraqi forces killed 28000 out of 30.000 foreign Islamic State fighters since mid 2013. His comments came two days after Iraq’s political and military leadership announced victory over IS in Mosul.