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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 14:28 GMT
US 'kills key Iraq al-Qaeda man'
Slain al-Qaeda militant Abu Maysara.
Abu Maysara was said to be a senior figure in al-Qaeda in Iraq
A man killed during fighting in Iraq last month was a key figure in the al-Qaeda in Iraq movement, the US military has said.

Abu Maysara, a Syrian, was a senior adviser to the group's leader, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, a statement said.

Abu Maysara died during a raid near Samarra and was identified using DNA evidence, the military said.

Separately, US military officials say they regret the killing of an Iraqi civilian during operations on Monday.

The militant Abu Maysara and five other people died during a fire fight that broke out when US forces surrounded a house used to disseminate al-Qaeda in Iraq propaganda in Samarra, 100km (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

He is thought to have played a key role in the group's media network and is said to have escaped from prison in March.

Warnings 'ignored'

Monday's civilian death occurred during operations against suspected al-Qaeda militants in the town of Tarmiya, north of Baghdad.

Another three civilians were shot and wounded during the incident.

A US spokesman said the civilians had been in a vehicle that approached troops at high speed, ignoring warnings to stop.

Last week a number of other civilians were killed by mistake in at least two separate incidents in Iraq.

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