US announces capture of key al-Qaeda leader
The US-led force in Iraq has announced that US troops caught a top al-Qaeda officer in western Iraq on 7 November, following a tip-off from local residents. Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reports that Sadik Iyad Hussein, the al-Qaeda commander in the town of western town of Saada, was captured in a raid on a house. According to a military statement, Hussein was responsible for planning and coordinating all terrorist operations in the town and surrounding areas, as well as overseeing the smuggling of foreign militants into Iraq from Syria.

KUNA also reports that the multinational force has accused insurgents in Iraq of using civilians as shields in the military offensive launched against them in the town of Obeidi. "The terrorists keep fighting in a way that compromises the safety of civilians in the area," a statement said. It pointed out that "militants are barricading in civilian homes and using them as a base for attacks against joint forces."

It gave as an example a recent incident in Obeidi where the US and Iraqi forces were fired at from a compound. When coalition aircraft were called in to attack the building two men came out with white flags and fled to a nearby building while a group of 15 civilians, including women and children left the compound, and were then led to safety by Iraqi troops.
Posted by: Dan Darling 2005-11-16