An Iranian news agency is reporting the death of an Iranian fighter during a battle with the Islamic State group in Iraq.

Tuesday's report by the semi-official Fars agency identifies the fighter as Mohammad Hadi Zolfaghari. It says he died fighting "terrorists" in Samarra, a city located 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

It describes him as a "defender of Shiite holy sites," of which there are many in Iraq. Samarra is also home to a major Shiite shrine. The report did not elaborate.

Shiite Iran says it has sent military advisers to assist Iraq and Syria in battling the Sunni militants but denies sending combat forces.

In December, a senior commander in Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard was killed during a battle against the Islamic State, also near Samarra.