The head of Iraq's intelligence academy and two of his bodyguards were killed in an attack Saturday, though conflicting reports emerged as to how the incident unfolded.
Two suicide bombers approached Gen. Aouni Ali's home in Tal Afar, about 40 miles west of Mosul, said Sheikh Salim Qasim, Ali's cousin and a member of the Nineveh provincial council.
Tal Afar is located in Nineveh province, which has a mixed population of Sunni Arabs and Turkmen.
The bombers opened fire on Ali's bodyguards, killing them, Qasim said. Ali rushed outside with another bodyguard. He killed one bomber before being shot and killed.
The remaining bodyguard killed the second attacker, though his explosive vest detonated, Qasim said.
The governor of Mosul, Atheel al-Nujaifi, confirmed the story, but did not provide additional details.
Police officials in Mosul and Baghdad, however, gave a different version of events.
According to police, the bombers' target was actually a senior police official who lives next door to Ali. The police official's bodyguards killed the two suicide bombers without incident, police said.
Ali overheard the gunfire and went to the scene, when one of the bodyguards fired an additional round at the body of one of the bombers, inadvertently setting off the bomb, police said.
Ali, the unnamed police official and the bodyguard were killed in the blast, police said.