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Published: Wednesday June 18, 2014 MYT 3:20:23 AM
Updated: Wednesday June 18, 2014 MYT 3:20:23 AM

Iraqi PM fires four top security officers for fall of Mosul - statement

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden waves at the end of a speech to students, young activists and officials at Cotroceni presidential palace in Bucharest May 21, 2014.  REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel/Files

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden waves at the end of a speech to students, young activists and officials at Cotroceni presidential palace in Bucharest May 21, 2014. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel/Files

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki fired four of his top security officers on Tuesday for abandoning their "professional and military duty" a week after the fall of the northwest city of Mosul to Sunni militants, the government said.

Top officers, including Lieutenant General Mehdi Sabah Gharawi, the top commander for Nineveh province where Sunni fighters have gained ground, were fired because they "failed to fulfill their professional and military duties", according to a government statement read out on state television.

One of the commanders, Hidayat Abdulraheem, had fled a battle and would be referred to the military court to be tried in absentia, it said.

(The story was refiled to correct the spelling of name Gharawi in second paragraph)

(Reporting by Raheem Salman; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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