BAGHDAD: The US military said on Wednesday that a foreign insurgent killed in the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul this month has been identified as
Abu Qaswarah, al-Qaida's number two in Iraq.
"Abu Qaswarah, also known as Abu Sara, was the al-Qaida in Iraq senior leader of northern Iraq," a military statement said.
It said that Abu Qaswarah, a native of Morocco who was killed in a raid in Mosul on October 5, had ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq's founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a US air strike in Iraq in June 2006.
"He was responsible for organising and leading al-Qaida in Iraq efforts in northern Iraq, including operations against Iraqi and coalition targets in Mosul."
The US military also described Abu Qaswarah as having trained with al-Qaida in Afghanistan and been in contact with insurgent leaders in Pakistan.
He directed the movement of foreign terrorists into northern Iraq, a position which he took up in 2007, it said.
The attack on the building in Mosul, considered by US commanders as al-Qaida's last urban stronghold in Iraq, led to the death of four other insurgents as well three women and three children, the military said in an earlier report.
"As coalition forces entered the building housing the terrorist, they began receiving small-arms fire. Coalition forces returned fire once engaged," it said.
"A terrorist detonated a suicide vest shortly thereafter in the house. Five terrorists along with three women and three children were killed."
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