Iraq official: Top Zarqawi aide captured

Interior Ministry forces captured a top aide to al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi during a raid in western Iraq, a security official said Monday.

The official, a member of the ministry's counterinsurgency Wolf Brigade, identified the key al-Qaida figure as Abu al-Farouq, who was previously unknown. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The officer said al-Farouq and five other al-Qaida operatives were captured based on a tip from residents near al-Bakr, about 30 miles west of the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi.

"Abou al-Farouq, a Syrian, was in charge of planning and financing militant groups operating in Ramadi while the other five are responsible of attacking Iraqi and coalition forces," the officer told The Associated Press.

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