`Military leader` of Qaeda in Iraq arrested: Ministry

Mikhlif al-Azzawi was detained along with three suspected leaders of Iraq.

Updated: May 18, 2011, 21:49 PM IST

Baghdad: The Iraqi Army arrested the
alleged military leader of al Qaeda`s offshoot in Iraq,
Mikhlif Mohammed Hussein al-Azzawi, in an early morning raid
on Wednesday, the defence ministry said.

The accused insurgent, also known as Abu Radhwan, was
detained along with three other suspected leaders of the
Islamic State of Iraq, spokesman Major General Mohammed
al-Askari said.

Also among those arrested were one of the men behind a
deadly assault on a government building in northern Iraq in
March, and the head of the insurgent group`s assassinations
cell.

"These are four major leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, and
they are four of the most dangerous, most wanted figures of
al Qaeda," Askari said.

He said the operation to detain the group was carried
out by the Iraqi army at around 1:30 am (2230 GMT) on
Wednesday, west of Samarra, 110 kilometres (70 miles) north of
Baghdad.

The others arrested were Mohammed Saad Muzzaham
al-Daraji, the head of the al Qaeda branch`s assassinations
unit, Fawzi Abbas Ali al-Badri, who is also known as Abu
Abdulrahman and was primarily charged with kidnapping soldiers
with a view to killing them and burning their bodies.

Soldiers also detained Qassim Mohammed Taha, who is
wanted in connection with a brazen March 29 attack in the city
of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, in which 58 people were killed
and 97 wounded.

PTI