2 top al-Qaeda leaders killed in Iraq

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Baghdad, Apr 20: In a major blow to al-Qaeda, two of its leaders in Iraq were reportedly killed in north of Baghdad, the US army said on Monday, Apr 19.

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri, who were said to have direct links with Osama bin Laden, were killed on Sunday, Apr 18, in one of the operations carried out in10km southwest of Tikrit, the home of the executed dictator Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki, with pictures of both men in their hands said that al-Qaeda was now "bleeding... and severely weakened", and that a major threat to the country"s security had been removed.

He added that the the medical tests have confirmed the identities of Baghdadi and Masri.

The Iraqi Prime Minister said that the Baghdadi and Masri were killed in a house during one of the operations. He added that the forces recovered evidences of their direct links with Osama Bin Laden.

"During the operations computers were seized with emails and messages to the two biggest terrorists, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri," Maliki added.

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