Iraq captures senior al-Qaida leader: spokesman

08:22, April 23, 2010      

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Iraqi security forces captured the al-Qaida leader of Baghdad province who is accused of masterminding most of the deadly attacks in Baghdad in the past two years, a military spokesman said on Thursday.

The security forces working with the intelligence arrested al- Qaida leader of Baghdad (Wali Baghdad in Arabic), Munaf Abdul Raheem al-Rawi, also named Falah Abu Haider, Major General Qassim Atta, spokesman for Baghdad Operations Command, said.

The arrest took place in Hutteen neighborhood in southern Baghdad on March 11, Atta told a press conference.

The captured leader was born in 1975 and joined al-Qaida in Iraq network in 2003. He was appointed as the al-Qaida leader for Baghdad province in 2008 by the head of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Omer al-Baghdadi, who was announced killed together with another top al-Qaida leader Abu Ayyub al-Musri in northern Iraq a few days ago, Atta added.

He said that al-Rawi is responsible for masterminding major attacks in Baghdad in the past two years, including deadly suicide bombings against Iraqi ministries, major hotels of Baghdad, foreign embassies, Muslim mosques, Christian churches, polling centers during March 7 elections and attacks against Iraqi security forces.

Atta showed the televised news conference photographs of a man believed to be al-Qaida leader of Baghdad.

Two days ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the U.S. military announced the killing of two top al-Qaida leaders, Abu Omer al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Musri in a nighttime rocket attack on a safe house near the city of Tikrit, capital of Salahudin province.

Local analysts believe the latest killing announcements of top al-Qaida leaders can be seen as victories for the country's security forces, who were blamed for failing to protect civilians against terrorists.



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