Iraqi security forces arrest Qaida leader in western Iraq

09:32, June 13, 2010      

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Iraqi security forces on Saturday captured a suspected senior al-Qaida leader during a raid on a Qaida safe house in Iraq's western province of Anbar, a provincial police source said.

Based on intelligence, the troops captured Khaled al-Fahal, said to be the minister of interior for Qaida's self-styled Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), during an operation in the town of al- Garmah, just east of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Fahal is believed to be involved in the kidnapping and the killing of dozens of Iraqi security members and civilians, the source said.

Iraq frequently said that his troops killed or captured Qaida leaders across the country, including the killing of two top leaders Abu Omer al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Musri during a military operation by Iraqi and U.S. forces late in April.

Both Iraqi and U.S. officials said the killing of the two top leaders dealt a big blow to al-Qaida in the war-torn country.

Local analysts believe the latest killing announcements of al- Qaida top leaders can be seen as victories for the country's security forces, however, major attacks continued across the country, leaving hundreds dead in the past several weeks.


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