Iraqi soldiers, near Mosul
Iraqi soldiers, seen here taking up positions on the outskirts of Makhmour on Friday 25 March, have been making fresh efforts to retake the nearby city of Mosul. Reuters

A senior Islamic State (Isis) commander who reportedly carried out executions personally has been shot dead by a mysterious team of assassins in the occupied Iraqi city of Mosul, according to a Kurdish official.

The man, who was known as Abu Furqan al-Misry, was killed by "unidentified gunmen" using guns with silencers in the city, which was taken by Isis (Daesh) in June 2014, according to the official.

His death was the latest in a number of assassinations of IS figures in the area in the past year, the Iraqi news agency Ahlulbayt reported. It added that the identities of those responsible for the killings were unknown.

The Iraqi government has recently stepped up efforts to retake Mosul, once a city of 2.5 million people with a significant population of Kurdish, Yazidi and other ethnic minorities, in a move that may have sparked increase resistance within the city. IS has been accused of acts of genocide against the Yazidis.

Ismat Rajab, a Kurdish official in Nineveh province, told Kurdish News that al-Misry, a notorious figure in the region, had been killed.

"The Isis executioner, Abu Furqan al-Misry, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen using silent firearms in Mosul downtown," he said.

In February, last year, another senior IS commander, known as Abu Dajana Saudi, and two militants were killed after the convoy they were travelling in came under fire from unknown assassins, the Kurdish Rudaw media organisation reported. That came after IS commander Abu Anas Iraqi was shot dead in November 2014 while in his car.

Ahlulbayt also reported that "several" IS militants were killed in clashes with an unknown group of gunmen in Mosul in November last year.

Meanwhile a Kurdish security source told the news agency that its forces had killed four IS suicide bombers as they tried to launch an attack about three miles south of Nineveh.

"Military troops from the [army's] Fifteenth Division managed this morning to kill four suicide bombers driving four armoured vehicles in an attempt to get close to the military forces near the village of al-Khattab in the vicinity of Qayyarah," the source said. "The anti-armour missiles have achieved 100 per cent injury in the destruction of four targets."