5 Oct 2008

US military says it's killed al-Qaeda commander

7:34 am on 5 October 2008

The United States military in Iraq says it's killed al-Qaeda's military commander for the whole of east Baghdad.

Mahir al-Zubaydi, also known as Abu Assad or Abu Rami, was said to head the group behind bombings which killed at least 16 people in Baghdad this week.

US officials say he played a key role in planning some of the worst atrocities in Iraq over the past few years.

Zubaydi also took part in the videotaped killing of four Russian diplomats in June 2006, officials say.

A US military spokesman says his removal would send shockwaves through Baghdad's terrorist bombing networks and its ability to conduct grisly attacks has been severely crippled.

American forces say they shot him dead after he opened fire on them from a house in Baghdad.