Iraqis claim arrest of top figure in al-Qaida

March 10, 2007 00:14

The shadowy leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida-inspired group that challenged the authority of Iraq's government, was captured Friday in a raid on the western outskirts of Baghdad, an Iraqi military spokesman said. Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was arrested along with several other insurgents in a raid in the town of Abu Ghraib, said Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman of the Baghdad security operation. US officials had no confirmation of the capture. Al-Moussawi said al-Baghdadi admitted his identity, along with another "of the terrorists" who confirmed "that the one in our hands is al-Baghdadi." US military officials said they were looking into the report. A senior adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told The Associated Press that al-Baghdadi had been taken into custody. The adviser spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

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