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Zarqawi 'successor' identified by U.S.

June 15, 2006 at 1:23 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 15 (UPI) -- U.S. military officials in Iraq say they believe they have identified the successor to the slain terrorist leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, displayed a photograph of a man he identified as Abu Ayyub al-Masri in a televised briefing in Baghdad Thursday.

He said the man was "probably" the one chosen to succeed Zarqawi, the al-Qaida leader in Iraq who was killed in a U.S. air strike last week.

An Islamic militant Web site said Zarqawi's replacement was a man named Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. But his name was not familiar to U.S. and Iraqi officials.

"As we continue looking at the al-Qaida network there is no question that it is in some kind of disarray and disorganization at this point," Caldwell said.

© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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