Iraqi troops capture al-Qaeda leader south of Baghdad

Iraqi security forces captured an al-Qaeda leader during an operation in a town south of Baghdad, an Iraqi military spokesman said on Saturday.

“The troops of the Iraqi Army 17th Division have carried out an operation in the town of Latifiyah, 40 km south of Baghdad, and captured Muzahim Mohammed Horan, the leader of Qaeda organization responsible for activities in south of Baghdad areas,” Major General Qassim Atta, spokesman for Baghdad Operations Command, told reporters.

Atta also said that the Iraqi troops defused bombs planted in a house and managed to arrest a suspect.

Latifiyah is part of the once restive area dubbed Triangle of Death, which is a cluster of towns scattered north of Hilla City, the capital of Babil province, some 100 km south of Baghdad.

The latest detention of al-Qaeda leader came a day after the militant group nominated al-Nasser Lideen Allah Abu Suleiman as its new top leader who vowed to continue deadly attacks with “dark days in blood color.”

The nomination of the new Qaida leader came after the killing of two top Qaeda leaders Abu Ayyub al-Musri and Abu Omer al- Baghdadi in a military operation by Iraqi and U.S. forces last month.

Both Iraqi and U.S. officials said the killing of the two men dealt a big blow to al-Qaeda in the war-torn country. However, major attacks continued across the country, leaving hundreds dead in the past several weeks. Xinhua