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Senior Iraqi Commander Killed in Shelling

Iraq cities: Mosul, Tikrit, Beiji, Kirkuk, Karbala, Fallujah, Baghdad

A senior Iraqi army commander has been killed in fighting west of the capital, Baghdad.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office identified him Monday as Major General Negm Abdullah Ali, commander of Iraq's sixth division.

The statement said he was hit by shelling in Ibrahim bin Ali, an area that is about halfway between Baghdad and the western city of Fallujah.

Iraq has been trying to counter a surge by Islamist militants, who have taken control of large areas in northern and western Iraq, including Fallujah.

The fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant captured much of the territory in June. The month was extraordinarily deadly for Iraqi security forces, with 886 military personnel being killed - more than the first five months of the year combined.

U.N. data released last week showed 7,160 civilian and military deaths from terrorism and violence in the first half of 2014, compared to about 9,000 deaths in all of 2013.