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US troops kill mastermind of Qaida attacks in Baghdad
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U.S. troops killed an al-Qaida leader believed to be involved in some deadly bombings in Baghdad and shooting one of the Russian diplomats in 2006, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

Mahir Ahmad al-Zubaydi, also known as Abu Assad or Abu Rami, was killed along with an unidentified female when U.S. soldiers raided his house in Baghdad Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiyah on Friday, a military statement said.

It said that Abu Rami and his network were responsible for many deadly bomb attacks, including Thursday's suicide attacks on Shiite worshippers who were marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Baghdad. The attacks left 20 people killed and some 35 others injured.

Abu Rami was also accused of being a planner and participant of multiple kidnapings and videotaped executions, including "a video recording from June 2006, Abu Rami is seen shooting one of four Russian diplomats," the statement said.

Originally a member of Ansar al-Islam, Abu Rami joined al-Qaida in 2004, and in 2007 he became the military leader of Baghdad's Rusafa area, on the eastern side of Tigris River, it said.

"His removal from the AQI (al-Qaida in Iraq) network will send shockwaves through Baghdad's terrorist bombing networks," Admiral Driscoll, a U.S. spokesman said in the statement.

"Its (AQI) ability to conduct grizzly attacks against Iraqi civilians and Coalition and Iraqi forces has been severely crippled by this precision operation," Driscoll added.

(Xinhua News Agency October 4, 2008)

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