The Islamic State jihadist group killed two senior officers and 10 other soldiers in a suicide bombing and heavy fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province, a general said on Saturday.

"The commander of the 1st Division, Staff Brigadier General Hassan Abbas, and the commander of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division, Staff Colonel Hilal Matar, and 10 soldiers were killed and 10 wounded," Staff Major General Mohammed al-Dulaimi said.

IS seized parts of the Nadhim al-Tharthar area east of Anbar provincial capital Ramadi during the fighting on Friday and government forces counterattacked, Dulaimi said.

Iraqi security forces control pockets of territory in Anbar, a vast desert province that stretches from the borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the western approaches to Baghdad.

But the majority of the province is held by the Islamic State group, which spearheaded an offensive last June that overran swathes of territory north and west of Baghdad.

Some areas have been out of government control for longer than that. Anti-government fighters seized parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah, to its east, in early 2014.