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‘Mastermind’ behind Anbar University hostage crisis captured and killed

The man allegedly responsible for the attack was found in west of Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province

Published: Updated:

Iraqi Special Forces have shot and killed on Sunday the “mastermind” behind an attack on Anbar University, according to security sources.

Counter-terrorist special forces found Abu Ataa al-Halabi in a house west of the city of Ramadi wearing an explosive belt he tried to detonate, but failed as he was shot dead before pulling the trigger.

Unidentified militants stormed the Anbar University campus on Saturday evening, taking hundreds of students and professors hostage, Reuters reported. The militants then abandoned their posts after a sporadic exchange of exchange of gunfire with Iraqi security forces.

While Iraqi security forces tried to free the hostages, the militants stormed and set ablaze Anbar province oil reserves, a security source added.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has not claimed responsibility for the attacks – although the Ministry of Interior released a statement attributing the attacks on the university and oil reserves to ISIS.

One of the university’s security guards explained that the assailants left once they realized that they would not be able to take control of the Humaira area, according to Reuters. The Humaira lies behind Anbar University and would have connected the militants with gunmen in Falluja, explained the guard.