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Aide To Top Terrorist Reportedly Captured In Iraq

4 June 2004 -- The U.S. military announced today the arrest of a top aide of Islamic militant Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, alleged mastermind of a series of attacks on civilians and U.S. forces across Iraq.

A statement in Baghdad said Iraqi police forces on 30 May seized Umar Baziyani. It described Baziyani as an al-Zarqawi lieutenant believed to be responsible for the deaths and injury of "scores of innocent Iraqis."

The U.S. has offered $10 million as reward for al-Zarqawi's capture.

U.S. Colonel Brad May said there has been a "breakthrough" in talks on ending weeks of fighting with forces loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

May said U.S. forces would pull out of areas near a Shi'ite shrine in Al-Najaf and mosque in Al-Kufah to help consolidate a shaky truce deal with al-Sadr.