Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi’s convoy came under sniper fire Monday but he was unharmed, a ministry spokesman said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which joint operations spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said took place in the western outskirts of the town of Baiji, 190 km (120 miles) north of Baghdad.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said the battle over Baiji and its refinery, Iraq’s largest, is critical to the fight against ISIL terrorists.

Obeidi was in Baiji as part of a field visit to Salahuddin province. He earlier inspected troops at Camp Speicher, a former U.S. military base, and later toured Tikrit, a ministry statement said.

“The minister is well and safe,” Rasool told Reuters. He said a guard had been lightly injured in the attack.

 

Al-Manar

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