Baghdad (DPA) – The US military in Iraq said Sunday that a militant killed during an operation in Mosul a day earlier has been positively identified as a senior al-Qaeda militant known as Abu Doha.
“Along with kidnapping, Abu Doha and his associates were reportedly involved in weapons facilitation and coordinating attacks against Iraqi security and (US-led) coalition forces,” said a statement.
It added: “Abu Doha is also known to have numerous terrorist associates, including a key leader with ties to Syrian-based terrorists and the inner circle of al-Qaeda in Iraq’s senior leadership.”
The US military alleged that Abu Doha reportedly received his orders directly from Abu Ayub al-Masri, the head of al-Qaeda network in Iraq.
Meanwhile, at least four civilians were killed in clashes and 17 suspected gunmen arrested Sunday in southern Iraq, police sources said.
Iraqi police and army forces clashed with gunmen during raids launched early Sunday in the village of al-Qariyah al-Asriyah village, 50 kilometres north of Hillah in Babil province.
Civilians were also hit during the firefight, independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) reported.
An indefinite curfew was imposed on the village following the clashes, police said.
In another development, an Iraqi was killed in the area of Hashimiyah, south of Hillah, during a raid by gunmen on an office belonging to the Sadr faction.
The group, loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, have a wide network across Iraq and representative offices in different cities.
The gunmen had reportedly opened fire on the office, VOI said citing a police source from Babil department, killing the individual who was standing in the front yard outside the office.