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Two Leaders Of 'Al-Qaida In Iraq' Have Been Killed, Prime Minister Maliki Says

(Read through for updates.)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced today that a government intelligence team has killed "al-Qaida in Iraq" leader Abu Ayyub Al-Masri, Reuters reports.

But as the BBC notes: "There is no confirmation of the reports and no comment from the U.S. military. There have been previous reports that Masri has been captured, but these have turned out to be untrue."

Update at 11:25 a.m. ET. From Baghdad, NPR's Quil Lawrence reports that the two men have been blamed for being behind many of the most recent — and deadly — attacks in Iraq. If they are dead, military sources tell Quil, that could deal "a serious blow to the continued insurgent attacks in Iraq":

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Update at 10:45 a.m. ET. We've updated the headline to say that two al-Qaida in Iraq leaders have reportedly been killed because of this new report from the Associated Press:

"The U.S. military confirms the two leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq have been killed in a joint operation with Iraqi forces. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced the killings of
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri earlier Monday at a news conference in Baghdad and showed reporters photographs of their bloody corpses."

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