Two British medics who joined IS killed in Iraq

Two British medics who joined IS killed in Iraq
Two British medics who joined the Islamic State group in Iraq have been killed as Iraqi forces try to retake Mosul from the militants.
2 min read
02 March, 2017
US-backed Iraqi forces are trying to retake Mosul from IS militants [AFP]

Two British medics who abandoned studies in Sudan to join the Islamic State militant group with other students have been killed in fighting in Iraq, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

Ahmed Sami Khider and Hisham Fadlallah died at the weekend, the BBC said, with Khider believed to have been killed in a convoy trying to leave Mosul, which US-backed Iraqi forces are trying to retake from IS militants.

It is unclear if Fadlallah was killed in the same incident.

The two men had been part of a group of nine mainly British-Sudanese medical students from Khartoum's University of Medical Sciences and Technology (UMST) who had joined IS in 2015.

Five other Britons from the institution joined them soon afterwards and at least four had now been killed.

According to the BBC, a British graduate was at the heart of the recruitment drive.

Mohammed Fakhri al-Khabass - who grew up in Middlesbrough - used his position on the Islamic Cultural Association at UMST to urge students not to practise medicine in the West.

The dean of UMST said that Fakhri "played a major role in recruiting the students".

An estimated 850 Britons are believed to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join various Islamic militant groups, mainly IS.

A number of them have reportedly been killed, including two deliberately targeted in drone strikes because they were believed to be plotting attacks on Britain.

Last week, British citizen Abu Zakariya al-Britani, who had been given compensation by Britain for his detention in the Guantanamo Bay military prison, blew himself up in a suicide bomb attack on Iraqi forces.

British Major General Rupert Jones, deputy commander for the Combined Joint Task Force coalition, said on Tuesday the number of foreign fighters travelling to join IS had dropped by between 75 and 90 percent, because it was harder to reach Iraq and Syria and the reality of going there had made it unappealing.