Japan on Thursday hailed the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaida's leader in Iraq, as a step forward that would hopefully lead to improved security in the Middle Eastern country.
"It's a step forward," Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said after US and Iraqi officials announced that al-Zarqawi, who led a bloody campaign of suicide bombings and kidnappings, has been killed in an air strike.
"I hope (his death) can help in improving the security in Iraq given that al-Zarqawi has been a symbolic presence for foreign terrorists in Iraq," Kaneda was quoted by Kyodo News agency as saying.
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