Iraq says 2 top al-Qaida leaders killed -- Maliki

08:15, April 20, 2010      

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki announced Monday the killing of top leaders of Qaida in Iraq network, Abu Omer al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Musri.

"A cell from our intelligence killed Abu Omer al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Musri during operation in Thirthar area in north of Baghdad," Maliki told reporters in a news conference.

Maliki said that the Iraqi intelligence was following the al- Qaida top leaders for long time and the Iraqi troops managed to capture some leading Qaida militants who led the Iraqi security forces to the whereabouts of the two most wanted Qaida leaders in Iraq.

Maliki also said that his troops got support from the U.S. troops "by helping the Iraqi side in checking verifying the intelligence reports.

He also showed the news conference pictures of the two killed Qaida leaders.

Abu Omer al-Baghdadi is the head of the self-style Islamic State of Iraq, which is an al-Qaida-led umbrella organization of extremist Sunni militants groups.

Abu Ayyub al-Musri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, is the top leader of al-Qaida in Iraq network, who replaced the former Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, when Zarqawi was killed in a U. S. airstrike on June 7, 2006.

Zarqawi's killing was expected to undermine the Qaida organisation, but the main blow to the terrorist networks came when their local Sunni insurgent allies turned on them, sickened by their indiscriminate bloodshed against both Shiite and Sunni communities.



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