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Last Updated: Friday, 4 June, 2004, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Zarqawi 'aide' captured in Iraq
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Zarqawi is said to be behind many attacks against coalition troops
Iraqi police have captured a top aide of al-Qaeda suspect Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the US-led coalition says.

The man, Umar Baziyani, is known to have ties to several extremist groups in Iraq, according to a statement by the US military.

He is believed to be responsible for the deaths of scores of innocent Iraqi citizens, the statement said.

Mr Baziyani, who was arrested on Saturday, is said to be providing information to coalition authorities.

Zarqawi, a 38-year-old Jordanian, is the prime suspect in some of the deadliest attacks around the world.

Washington has accused him of masterminding a string of spectacular suicide bombings in Iraq.

The US military described Mr Baziyani as an associate of Zarqawi, but did not explain the alleged links and gave no information about where he was detained.

A US military spokesman said Mr Baziyani himself was wanted in connection with a series of attacks on coalition forces in Iraq.

"His capture removes one of Zarqawi's most valuable officers from his network," the spokesman said.





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