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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Senior militant 'killed in Iraq'
Omar al-Farouq
Farouq escaped from a US prison in Afghanistan
British forces have killed a senior al-Qaeda fugitive in a raid on a house in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, security sources say.

Officials named the dead man as Omar al-Farouq, a top lieutenant of Osama Bin Laden in South East Asia.

Farouq was captured in Indonesia in 2002 but escaped from a US military prison in Afghanistan last year.

Security sources say although he was hiding in Basra, al-Qaeda was not known to be actively operating in the area.

British military spokesman Maj Charlie Burbridge said Farouq, whom he called a "very, very significant man" had been tracked across Iraq to Basra.

He said about 200 troops surrounded the house, from where they came under fire.

A gun battle erupted and Farouq was killed in the exchange.

Maj Burbridge said there was apparently nobody else in the building and there were no further casualties.

Prison escape

Born in Kuwait of Iraqi parents, Farouq is believed to have joined al-Qaeda in the early 1990s and trained in Afghanistan.

They will not be able to stop the march of jihad
Omar al-Farouq
February 2006

He became a top lieutenant of Osama Bin Laden in South East Asia and he is believed to have been planning a series of bomb attacks on US embassies there when he was arrested in Indonesia in 2002.

In what the BBC's Jim Muir describes as a considerable embarrassment for the US, Farouq and three others escaped from the US military prison at Bagram airbase in Kabul last year.

He even appeared in a video on an Arab TV station to boast about it.

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