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Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 11:40 UK

Key Iraqi al-Qaeda figure 'dead'

US and Iraqi forces on patrol in Mosul
Mosul is a centre for al-Qaeda fighters displaced from further south

The US military in Iraq says a militant killed on Tuesday has been positively identified as the leader of al-Qaeda in the city of Mosul.

It said the man - identified by a pseudonym, Abu Khalaf - had co-ordinated and ordered many attacks.

He was shot dead by American troops during a raid on a building in Mosul.

US and Iraqi forces have been carrying out an offensive in the city for more than a month, in an attempt to drive out al-Qaeda in Iraq from Mosul.

The city, US and Iraqi officials say, is al-Qaeda's last urban stronghold in Iraq.

Also on Friday, US military officials said the handover to Iraqi control of Anbar province, west of Baghdad, was being postponed.

A statement said the delay was because of forecasts for high winds and dust storms on Saturday, but no new date for the handover was announced.

The postponement came a day after a suicide bomb attack in Anbar, which killed at least 20 people, including a tribal leader and members of a patrol force opposed to al-Qaeda in Iraq.




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