WASHINGTON, April 20, 2010 – Iraqi security forces killed a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq leader and an associate during a combined operation conducted with U.S. advisors northeast of Mosul, Iraq, yesterday, military officials reported.
The security forces arrested a third suspect during the operation.
The Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched a building looking for Hazim Ilyas Abdallah al-Khafaji, also known as Yasir al-Hambali, who was believed to be responsible for attacks against Iraqi civilians and Iraqi and coalition forces. He had been detained previously, in May 2005, for alleged terrorist acts against the Iraqi people.
The security team encountered gunfire when it approached the building where the al-Qaida in Iraq operative was believed to be. Iraqi forces engaged the assailants, killing the wanted man and an associate. Further information and evidence gathered at the scene led Iraqi forces to identify and arrest another suspected associate.
In other news from Iraq, Iraqi forces working with U.S. advisors arrested two suspected al-Qaida in Iraq associates during a combined operation northwest of Baghdad yesterday. The combined force searched multiple buildings for a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq leader allegedly responsible for several roadside-bomb detonations, rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms attacks, and kidnappings.
Information and evidence gathered at the scene led Iraqi forces to identify and arrest the two suspected criminal associates of the wanted man.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)