British forces killed Omar Faruq, a "terrorist of considerable significance" in a pre-dawn raid Monday in southern Basra, a military official said.
Faruq was killed in the raid against his home when he opened fire on British soldiers entering the building, British forces spokesman Maj. Charlie Burbridge said.
"We had information that a terrorist of considerable significance was hiding in Basra, as a result of that information we conducted an operation in an attempt to arrest him," Burbridge told The Associated Press by telephone from southern Iraq. "During the attempted arrest Omar Faruq was killed, which is regrettable because we wanted to arrest him."
When asked if it was Omar Faruq, a top leader of al-Qaida in Southeast Asia, who escaped a US prison in Bagram, Afghanistan, last year, he said he could not elaborate and cited British policy not allowing him to link an individual to a specific organization.