A general charged with ensuring security ahead of a visit by Iraq's prime minister was killed today in a shoot out with militia fighters, officials said.
"Clashes broke out with fighters from Saraya al-Salam," a group loyal to prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, a security source said, after a verbal altercation spiralled out of control.
"The general was killed and three of his men were wounded," the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The prime minister's office confirmed the death of Ismail and blamed "shots from undisciplined fighters", without naming a group.
Abadi had "ordered the immediate opening of an investigation", a statement said.
Commentators have previously mooted a potential alliance between Abadi and Sadr's parties at the vote.
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