Iraqi officials announced today that two top insurgent leaders of Al-Qaida in Iraq were killed in joint U.S.-Iraqi strikes.
The New York Times reports that the two men, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, had assumed control of the group, also know as Al-Qaida in Mesopotamia, following the 2006 death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The Times says "Baghdadi has been reported dead or detained several times previously, and his very existence had been called into question a few years ago by American military leaders."
Vice President Joe Biden hailed the deaths of the two men, saying it is a "potentially devastating" blow to the terror network. He says Iraqis planned and led the night-time rocket attack, based on intelligence developed from Iraqi sources.
Security forces say the two men ordered a number of devastating bomb attacks throughout Iraq.