September 26, 2006 in Nation/World

‘Significant’ al-Qaida figure killed

Amit R. Paley Washington Post

BAGHDAD, Iraq – British troops killed a man American officials believed to be a top lieutenant to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden during a pre-dawn raid on Monday in the southern city of Basra, a British military spokesman said.

Omar al-Farouq, an al-Qaida leader in Southeast Asia who escaped from a prison in Afghanistan last summer, was killed during crossfire that began when he shot at about 200 British troops storming the home where he was hiding, according to the spokesman, Maj. Charlie Burbridge.

“He was a terrorist of considerable significance,” Burbridge said.

Farouq’s death was announced during another tumultuous day in the genocide trial of ousted president Saddam Hussein, culminating in the expulsion of the former dictator from the courtroom for the second time in as many sessions.

Violence continued to flare across Iraq on Monday, with at least 13 people killed, police said.

The U.S. military also announced that a Task Force Lightning soldier was killed by enemy fire near Mosul. No further details were released.

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