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Middle east

Police kill al Qaeda escapee chief

Latest update : 2008-12-27

Iraqi security forces announced they had killed al Qaeda leader "Imad the killer" a day after he escaped from a police station along with two accomplices. Police claim the two have been surrounded.

AFP - A member of Al-Qaeda in Iraq who broke out of jail has been killed in a firefight while two other prisoners on the run have been surrounded by police, a police officer said on Saturday.
   
"We killed 'Imad the killer' and he is lying on the street in front of me. We are exchanging gunfire with the other two who are hiding in a house in Street number 20 in the centre of the city," the officer told AFP.
   
The man killed by Iraqi forces, Imad Ahmed Farhan, was nicknamed "Imad the killer" because police say he has admitted to murdering at least 100 people.
   
The men escaped from Forsan police station in Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, on Friday in a brazen breakout that sparked a gunbattle which killed 13 militants and policemen.
   
The incident began at around 2 am on Friday when a prisoner called out that he was sick, and a policeman went to a communal cell to check.
   
When the officer entered the cell holding 40 men, 13 of them Qaeda members, they grabbed him and cut his throat with a makeshift knife. They then seized his gun and went to the police chief's office and slit his throat.
   
The 11 Qaeda prisoners then dashed into the courtyard where they shot a lieutenant and made it to the armoury before the gun battle erupted.
   
The predominantly Sunni Arab city of 540,000, which was a key Al-Qaeda stronghold in the aftermath of the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime by US-led forces in 2003.
   
But since 2006 local Sunni tribes there have sided with the US military to combat the jihadists. The daily level of violence has fallen dramatically in Anbar as Al-Qaeda fighters have been pushed out.

Date created : 2008-12-27

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