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Iraq PM 'retires' army chief of staff: spokesman

Thousands of Iraqi soldiers take part in a training exercise in the Basmaya camp in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on May 27, 2015Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi has “retired” the army’s chief of staff, the most senior officer removed since jihadists overran large parts of the country last year, his spokesman said Monday. General Babaker Zebari “has been retired” on Abadi’s orders, Saad al-Hadithi told AFP, without providing further details. Abadi has sacked dozens of army and police officers in an effort to restructure and improve security forces that performed disastrously when the Islamic State jihadist group launched an offensive last June, overrunning major areas north and west of Baghdad.

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