U.S. captures top Zarqawi aide

Friday, December 31, 2004

BAGHDAD The United States has captured a leading aide of Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi in Iraq.

Iraqi and U.S. officials said coalition forces captured a commander linked to Al Zarqawi. The commander was identified as a 33-year-old Iraqi national.

The Iraqi government has said Abu Marwan has been commander of a group termed Abu Talha. A government statement said Abu Marwan was affiliated to Al Zarqawi's Al Qaida Organization in Iraq.

Officials did not rule out that Abu Talha was also affiliated to Ansar Al Sunna. Ansar claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing last week of a U.S. military base in Mosul in which at least 14 U.S. soldiers were killed.

"Abu Marwan was responsible for conducting and commanding terrorist operations in Mosul, purchasing weapons for Talha's terrorist group, and coordinating the training of terrorist cells within the Abu Talha terrorist group," the statement said.

The statement said Abu Marwan was arrested on Dec. 23 after authorities received a tip from local residents.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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