BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq's prime minister says terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed north of Baghdad.
The al-Qaida-linked militant led a bloody campaign of suicide bombings, kidnappings and hostage beheadings that made him one of the most wanted men in Iraq. He is believed to have personally beheaded at least two American hostages.
The Jordanian-born militant had become almost as notorious as Osama bin Laden, to whom he swore allegiance in 2004. The United States had put a 25 million dollar bounty on al-Zarqawi, the same as bin Laden.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says al-Zarqawi was killed in a U-S air raid north of Baghdad last evening along with seven aides. The room erupted in cheers when the announcement was made at a news conference.
General George Casey, the top U-S general in Iraq, says al-Zarqawi's body has been identified by fingerprints and facial recognition.