A group linked to al-Qaida in Iraq is denying Iraqi government reports that its leader was recently arrested.

The Islamic State of Iraq says the man it claims is its leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, is fine.

The group says on an Islamist Web site it does not know the person who Iraqi authorities arrested last month and presented as al-Baghdadi.

The Iraqi army said it captured the Sunni insurgent leader in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The United States did not confirm the report.

Iraqi authorities in the past have announced the arrest or killing of major insurgent leaders, to only later say the reports were false.

In addition, U.S. military commander General Kevin Bergner previously had said al-Baghdadi may not be a real person, but rather a fictional character created to put an Iraqi face on the otherwise foreign leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.