Iraq: Senior al Qaeda leader dies as mortar attack kills nine
American forces killed an al-Qaeda leader behind the bombing of twin minarets at Iraq's prized Golden Dome shrine in Samarra, the military said Sunday. Haitham Sabah Shaker Mohammed al-Badri died in a U.S. operation Thursday east of Samarra, the U.S. military said in a statement.
According to the AP, the military said al-Badri was the al-Qaeda in Iraq emir of Salahuddin province, and the mastermind responsible for the bombing of the Askariya mosque's minarets on June 13. "Al-Badri was positively identified by close associates and family members," the statement said.
The Shiite shrine's minarets were brought down by suspected al-Qaeda members in June. An earlier bombing, in February 2006, destroyed the same mosque's golden dome.
Meanwhile, mortar bombs hit a petrol station in eastern Baghdad at dawn on Sunday, killing at least nine people and injuring 11, Iraqi police said. According to Reuters, the police said nine mortar bombs landed in the area, destroying 13 cars as people lined up for fuel. Several mortar bombs hit another petrol station in a nearby district, wounding six people.