BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ An armed group created with government backing to drive al-Qaida fighters out of a restive Iraqi province claimed Monday in a statement that it had killed five top members of the terror group.
"Your brothers, heroes of the Revenge Brigade, carried out the killing of five important elements of al-Qaida group, avenging the death of the sons of our Ramadi city," said the Anbar Revenge Brigade, recently formed by tribal leaders of the western Anbar province.
The statement, posted on an Islamic Web site, could not be independently verified.
The Anbar Revenge Brigade's statement listed the names of four alleged al-Qaida leaders. The fifth man, it said, was from Ansar al-Sunnah, a terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaida.
Iraq's insurgents, including al-Qaida fighters, routinely use the Internet to claim responsibility for attacks or to publicize their ideology. The posting by the Anbar Revenge Brigades was the first by the new group.