"He was a leading Al Qaida terrorist in the region," an official said.
Officials said Al Harbouni and three of his lieutenants, one of them a
Saudi national, were killed in the air strike. They said the Al Qaida squad
was traveling in a car that was tracked and targeted by U.S. aircraft about
25 kilometers east of Samara.
At the same time, another regional Al Qaida commander was killed near
the Iraqi city of Tikrit. Officials said U.S. aircraft bombed an Al Qaida
house, which killed Abdullah Al Ajili and an aide. They said Al Ajili was a
leading Al Qaida operative and recruiter in the Tikrit region.
The U.S. military has sought to sustain operations against Al Qaida in
northern Iraq. On Sunday, the military said 27 Al Qaida operatives in
Baghdad and Mosul were arrested. Several of the insurgents were said to have
been senior members of Al Qaida.
Still, Al Qaida has bolstered suicide operations around Baghdad. On
Sunday, Al Qaida was believed to have detonated a suicide car bomb next to a
stadium in the Iraqi capital. At least three people were killed.