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U.S. Detains Senior Al-Qaeda Suspect, 17 Others

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman (Courtesy Photo) April 28, 2007 -- The U.S. Department of Defense says it has taken into custody a high-ranking Al-Qaeda operative who had planned to kill Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman says Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi is now being held in the U.S. military's detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Whitman said the suspect has ties to extremists who are allies of Al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan and in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon spokesman says al-Iraqi was caught while trying to reach Iraq.

Security officials in Afghanistan and Pakistan have welcomed news of the arrest, saying it is a successful blow against international terrorism.

Musharraf has survived two assassination attempts in Pakistan that he says were planned by Al-Qaeda operatives.

Meanwhile, U.S. military officials in Baghdad said today that their troops detained 17 suspected Al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq.

The officials also say U.S. war planes destroyed a truck rigged with explosives near the volatile city of Al-Fallujah in western Iraq.

The truck reportedly was discovered on the evening of April 27 after information was received from a suspected militant detained by U.S. troops.

The U.S. fighter jets fired precision guided missiles to destroy the truck.

(compiled from agency reports)