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A senior general in the Iraqi army was killed Monday while fighting Sunni Islamist militants near Baghdad, the country's prime minister said in a statement. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has overrun swaths of northern and western Iraq in a brutal wave of violence and its leadership has threatened to seize the capital.

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Major General Negm Abdullah Ali was killed by mortar fire in the Ibrahim Bin Ali area, about 10 miles northwest of Baghdad, according to a statement by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that was obtained by Reuters. Ali "met martyrdom on the battlefield as he was fighting ... terrorists," Maliki was quoted as saying.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

- Alexander Smith