[Updated at 1:52 p.m.] Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that the killing of two al Qaeda leaders in Iraq shows the growing strength of Iraqi security forces.
[Updated at 10:38 a.m.] The U.S. military has confirmed that the two most senior leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq were killed in a joint Iraqi-U.S. operation Sunday.
[Posted at 9:26 a.m.] Two of the most wanted terrorist figures in Iraq have been killed in a joint Iraqi-U.S. operation, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Monday.
Abu Ayyub al-Masri, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq - an umbrella group that includes al Qaeda in Iraq - were killed in a security operation in al-Tharthar, north of Baghdad, al-Maliki said.
There was no immediate word from the U.S. military. The operation involved missile strikes and ground forces, al-Maliki said. The two men were in a house and then hid in a hole where their bodies were found by security forces, he said.
Al-Maliki showed reporters photos of the two men.