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Iraqi Security Advisor: Al-Qaida in Iraq Facing its End


Iraq's national security advisor says last week's killing of terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi signals "the beginning of the end" of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Mowaffaq al-Rubaie says information found with Zarqawi gives Iraqi security forces the edge over the terror group. He says the documents show the locations of terrorist leaders, weapons and how the group is run. Al-Qaida in Iraq has vowed to carry out more attacks.

The U.S. military says it believes the group's new leader Abu Hamza al-Muhajer is probably an alias for Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an Egyptian closely tied to Zarqawi.

In other developments Thursday, Iraqi police say gunmen killed 10 laborers as they headed to work in Baquba. In Tikrit, gunmen attacked a mosque, killing four Sunni Arabs.

To the south, local officials say U.S. troops arrested the sheikh (Akeel al-Zubaidi) who heads Karbala's provincial council, a mainly Shi'ite group. U.S. officials have not commented on the report.

Baghdad itself is in the midst of a major security crackdown that was set in motion following President Bush's visit this week.

Tens of thousands of Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition troops are deployed across the city and curfews have been extended.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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