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Key al-Qaida Leader Killed in Baghdad

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2010 - The suspected Baghdad "sharia emir" for al-Qaida in Iraq was killed today during a combined security operation in the northern part of the Iraqi capital, military officials reported.

A sharia emir is responsible for enforcing radical religious rules imposed by groups such as al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Acting on a warrant issued by an Iraqi judge, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched for Sinan, also known as Mohannad Rahman Salim Muhaymid al-Ani, who is believed to be one of the primary approval authorities for al-Qaida in Iraq attacks and assassinations in the Baghdad region.

Before beginning their search, security team members directed those inside a targeted building to come out in an orderly fashion. One man instead fled to the rooftop and jumped to an adjacent building, eventually making his way to the ground and hiding in a stairwell.

Realizing he was surrounded, he first approached the security team as if to surrender. But as he got near, he lunged at a security team member and tried to wrestle away his firearm. Other security team members shot the man, who died at the scene. He later was identified as the wanted man.

No one else was killed or wounded during the operation, officials said.

After preliminary questioning and an initial examination of evidence at the scene, Iraqi forces arrested three of the man's suspected criminal accomplices.

In other news from Iraq, Iraqi forces captured a suspected regional al-Qaida in Iraq leader during a combined operation today in Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad.

Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors arrested a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq leader, who is believed to have been involved in planning multiple coordinated vehicle-borne bombing attacks against the Iraqi government, several of which have taken place in Baghdad.

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