Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday that an Iraqi intelligence forces had located and killed al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri. According to Reuters, Maliki said the forces also killed Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the leader of al Qaeda's local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, in an operation backed by U.S. forces.
Maliki said Masri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir and thought to be an Egyptian, and Baghdadi died in Thar-Thar, a rural area 80 km west of Baghdad. The operation took place over the last couple of days.
"The attack was carried out by ground forces, which surrounded the house, and also through the use of missiles," Maliki told a news conference. "U.S. forces also participated." He said the house was destroyed and the two bodies were found in a hole in the ground inside in which they had been hiding.