US forces arrest senior al-Qaida leader in Iraq

Coalition forces raided multiple buildings and detained the "known terrorist" and 3 others fugitives.

US flag 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
US flag 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The US military said Friday it had detained a senior leader of al-Qaida in Iraq and three other suspected insurgents in raids northeast of Baghdad, near where al-Qaida chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a US air raid earlier this month. The chief suspect reportedly was a senior al-Qaida cell leader in central Iraq, north of the capital, and was known to be involved in helping foreign fighters. Coalition forces raided multiple buildings on Monday and detained the "known terrorist" and the three others with incident, according to the military statement. Several women and children were at the raid sites, but they were not injured and were allowed to return to their homes once troops secured the area, it said. Also Friday, the US military said it killed four foreign insurgents, including two who had 15 pound (seven kilogram) suicide bombs strapped to their bodies, in a raid north of Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad. The military said an insurgent thought to be an Iraqi also was killed in the raid, which was launched on information from a suspected arrested in the region in previous days. "Intelligence indicated that the area is saturated with numerous weapons caches, some of them rigged with explosives. The terrorists were observed earlier in the day loading suspected weapons in trucks and moving them to isolated areas," the military statement said.