An umbrella group for al-Qaida in Iraq has confirmed the death of a senior leader, calling the Tunisian linked to the kidnapping and killings of US soldiers last year a "martyr," according to a statement posted Monday.
The Islamic State of Iraq praised Abu Osama al-Tunisi of performing jihad, or holy war, "with his tongue and teeth" and credited him with participating in the battles of Fallujah, storming the Abu Ghraib prison and creating a "triangle of death" south of Baghdad, according to the statement posted on a militant Web site.
The statement, which could not be independently verified, did not say when or how al-Tunisi died. The US Central Command reported last week that a US air strike south of Baghdad killed al-Tunisi and two other terror suspects.
US military officials said al-Tunisi was a leader in helping bring foreign terrorists into the country and had operated in Youssifiyah, southwest of Baghdad since November 2004.