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Third Al-Qaida Leader Killed in Iraq

Another al-Qaida leader has been killed in Iraq during a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation.

Iraqi military officials say joint forces used intelligence to track down and kill Ahmed al-Obeidi in northern Iraq Tuesday.

The officials say al-Obeidi, who was also known as Abu Suhaib, planned many attacks in the northern provinces of Nineveh, Salahuddin and Kirkuk.

The operation followed a joint U.S.-Iraqi raid Sunday near the northern city of Tikrit that killed the two top leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Iraqi Defense Minister Abdel Qader al-Obeidi (no relation to Ahmed al-Obeidi) said Iraq's security forces have been busy pursuing terrorists, and that U.S. forces played a key role in the latest operations.

U.S. officials have called the killings of the two top al-Qaida leaders - Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Umar al-Baghdadi - a major development.

Vice President Joe Biden called deaths a "potentially devastating blow" to al-Qaida in Iraq, and said the success of Sunday's raid demonstrates the improved ability of Iraqi security forces.

Also Tuesday, Iraqi police said gunmen killed the wife, daughter and three sons of a member of an anti-al-Qaida Sunni group. The killings took place in Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad. The three sons had their throats slit.

Police said the Sunni group member was not home at the time.