US troops kill mastermind of Al Qaeda in Iraq

October 4th, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, Oct 4 (Xinhua) US troops killed an Al Qaeda leader believed to be involved in some deadly bombings in Baghdad and shooting a Russian diplomat in 2006, the US military said Saturday. Mahir Ahmad al-Zubaydi, also known as Abu Assad or Abu Rami, was killed along with an unidentified female when US soldiers raided his house in Baghdad’s Sunni neighbourhood of Adhamiyah Friday, a military statement said.

It said Abu Rami and his network were responsible for many deadly bomb attacks, including Thursday’s suicide attacks on Shia worshippers in Baghdad. The attacks left 20 people killed and some 35 injured.

Abu Rami was also accused of planning a number of kidnappings and videotaped executions, including “a video recording from June 2006, in which Abu Rami is seen shooting one of four Russian diplomats”, the statement said.

Originally a member of Ansar al-Islam, Abu Rami joined Al Qaeda in 2004, and in 2007 he became the military leader of Baghdad’s Rusafa area, on the eastern side of Tigris River, it said.

“His removal from the AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) network will send shockwaves through Baghdad’s terrorist bombing networks,” Admiral Driscoll, a US spokesman said in the statement.

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