Al-Qaida Leader Killed in Iraq

PENTAGON (AP) -- A top U.S. military commander in Baghdad says U.S.-led forces have killed one of the most important leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Brigadier General Joseph Anderson describes Abu Osama al-Tunisi as "the emir of foreign terrorists in Iraq and part of the inner leadership circle." He says a group headed by al-Tunisi was responsible for the kidnapping of U.S. soldiers in June of last year.

Anderson calls al-Tunisi's death "a key loss" to al-Qaida's leadership in the country.

Speaking to Pentagon reporters by videoconference, Anderson says recent operations have left the organization fractured. He also says operations by Iraq's Department of Border Enforcement and U.S. teams have helped reduce the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq by half. The military says about 60 to 80 foreign fighters had been entering Iraq each month.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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