US Army denies killing of al Qaeda chief in Iraq
The American Army on Thursday dismissed press reports it had killed the new al Qaeda chief in Iraq Abu Ayyub al-Masri. "There was a raid where we thought he may have been among those killed. We are still doing DNA tests but we do not believe coalition forces have killed al-Masri," U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson told Reuters.
Earlier, an Iraqi government source said Masri and three of his aides were killed in the western Iraqi town of Haditha on Wednesday after U.S. forces launched an airstrike and ground assault on a safe house.
Masri's predecessor, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June.