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Al Qaeda Leader Killed in Raid; Weapons Cache Discovered

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2006 – An al Qaeda military leader was killed today during a raid in Baghdad, and U.S. soldiers discovered a weapons cache Feb. 22, Multinational Force Iraq officials said.

A raid in northern Baghdad by coalition forces, with assistance from Iraqi police, resulted in the death of Abu Asma, the al Qaeda "military emir of northern Baghdad." Intelligence reports indicated Abu Asma was in possession of and expected to use suicide-bomber vests against Iraqi civilians and security forces.

Abu Asma, also known as Abu Anas and Akram Mahmud Al Mushhadani, was an explosives expert with close ties to senior Baghdad-based car-bomb manufacturers. Officials said he was directly responsible for many deaths and injuries among coalition and Iraqi security forces.

In other news, soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, located a weapons cache Feb. 22 south of Baghdad. Three caches had been discovered in the same area during previous searches.

The cache consisted of 60, 80 and 120 mm mortar rounds, rockets, 155 mm artillery rounds, a 60 mm tube, and 60 mm base plates. An explosives disposal team destroyed the cache in a controlled detonation.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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