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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Iraq militants killed in US raid
US soldier on patrol in Baghdad 29 April 2007
The US said five insurgents died in the raid on Tuesday
The US military says that two men killed during an operation north of Baghdad on Tuesday have been identified as senior leaders of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

One was Sabah Hilal al-Shihawi, who the US said was the religious advisor to al-Qaeda "information minister" Muharib Abdul Latif al-Jubouri.

The US announced Jubouri's death, in the same operation, on Thursday.

Also killed was Abu Ammar al-Masri, who was described in the US military statement as a foreign fighter.

All three men died during a raid on 1 May in Taji, north of the Iraqi capital, in which the US said it killed a total of five insurgents.

Shihawi and Masri had been identified by associates at the site and by using photographs of one of them, the US statement said.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq has confirmed the killing of Jubouri, who is believed to have been involved in the abductions of a number of foreigners.

On Thursday, a US spokesman said Jubouri's death could have been the source of reports that Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the leader of Sunni alliance the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), had been killed.

On Tuesday, Iraqi officials said that Masri had been killed in internal fighting, but ISI later denied this and his death has not been independently confirmed.

Maj Gen William Caldwell said that the US military did not have the bodies of Masri and Baghdadi and did not know "of anybody that does".






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