34 Al Qaeda Leaders Captured or Killed in Iraq, says US

Washington, June 5 (IANS) At least 34 top Al Qaeda leaders in Iraq have been captured or killed over the past three months, a top US military official has said.

"Over the last 90 days or so, we have either picked up or killed 34 out of the top 42 Al Qaeda leaders in Iraq," Raymond Odierno, US Commander in Iraq, was quoted as saying during a Pentagon briefing by Xinhua.

But the commander said Al Qaeda "will attempt to regenerate themselves" despite persistent joint US-Iraqi security operations.

The US will never take eyes off the terror network, he said, adding that the American government has reached an agreement with the Iraqi government to pull out US troops from the country before September.

At present, there are 88,000 US troops in Iraq, and the number will be reduced to 50,000 by the end of August, he said.

Odierno also said the US and Iraqi casualties have fallen so far this year to their lowest level since the beginning of the war in 2003.

"All of those statistics for the first five months of 2010 are the lowest we've had on record," he said.


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Title: 34 Al Qaeda Leaders Captured or Killed in Iraq, says US

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