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Briton killed in Iraq mine-clearing accident

The British national was killed while trying to defuse a bomb planted by ISIS

Published: Updated:

A British national working for a US company clearing ordnance in the Iraqi city of Ramadi was killed Monday as he tried to defuse a bomb, officials said.

“We've just been made aware that there has been a British national killed in Ramadi,” a British embassy spokesperson told AFP.

The mayor of Ramadi, which is the capital of the western Anbar province and was retaken by Iraqi forces from ISIS earlier this year, confirmed the incident.

“A contractor of British origin was killed and another wounded as they attempted to defuse an IED (improvised explosive device) in the Malaab neighbourhood,” Ibrahim al-Osej told AFP.

He did not specify the nationality of the wounded contractor.

The contract for clearing the thousands of improvised explosive devices and booby-traps the militants left behind in Ramadi was awarded to US company Janus.

A senior Anbar police official also confirmed the incident but Janus would not immediately comment.

Rigging homes and planting bombs on roads was a key component of the system ISIS set up to defend the city, which lies about 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Baghdad.

Iraqi forces backed by US-led coalition air strikes eventually retook Ramadi six months ago after a battle that completely emptied the city of its population and left it in ruins.

Massive mine-clearing operations need to be completed before the city's inhabitants can start returning and reconstruction efforts begin.