Iraqi forces kill al-Qaida leader

Acting on tip, raided house where terrorists were hiding

Iraqi forces killed a local al-Qaida in Iraq leader and two other insurgents in a raid north of Baghdad on Friday, and roadside bombs killed an American soldier and an Iraqi policeman, officials said.

Provincial police chief Maj. Ghassan al-Bawi said troops and police were on the streets of Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, on Friday and roads to the city were closed because of fears the insurgents might regroup and launch more attacks.

Iraqi commando forces, acting on a tip, raided a house where Hamid al-Takhi, the local al-Qaida in Iraq leader, and the two other insurgents were hiding just outside Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, said police Capt. Laith Mohammed.

Al-Takhi, known as the "emir" of Samarra, was gunned down while fleeing the house, and the other two militants while trying to defend it with grenades, the U.S. military said. After they were killed, the Iraqi troops found a car parked nearby containing a grenade launcher, rockets, AK-47s, grenades, and a shotgun, the U.S. military said.

Mohammed said al-Takhi had been responsible for many insurgent attacks against coalition forces and civilians in the area.

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