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(RFE/RL) May 3, 2007 -- Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Husayn Ali Kamal said today that U.S. and Iraqi forces have killed the head of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group of Sunni insurgents linked to Al-Qaeda.


Kamal told Reuters that the Interior Ministry has Abu Umar al-Baghdadi's body, and state television broadcast images purporting to show him.


Meanwhile, the U.S. military says that U.S. forces have killed a senior Al-Qaeda figure in Iraq.


U.S. military spokesman Major General William Caldwell said Muharib Abd al-Latif al-Juburi, described as the "senior minister of information" for Al-Qaeda in Iraq, was killed north of Baghdad on May 1.


Al-Juburi, aka Abu Bakr al-Juburi, was identified by the Islamic State of Iraq as its "public relations minister" in an Internet posting last month. The militant was accused of involvement in the kidnapping and killing of U.S. nationals and other foreigners in Iraq in 2006.


The Islamic State in Iraq today denied that al-Baghdadi had been killed. In a posting on an Islamic website, the group said the person killed was its spokesman, possibly referring to al-Juburi.



The Iraqi Interior Ministry has claimed that Islamic State's "war minister," Abu Ayyub al-Masri, aka Abu Hamzah al-Muhajir, was killed north of Baghdad on May 1, but that claim has not been verified.


(compiled from agency reports)

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