The U.S. military said a senior al-Qaida in Iraq leader has been killed in a weapons cache-clearing operation north of Baghdad.

A statement Friday said Abu Ghazwan was killed Thursday in the Tarmiyah area.

It said the operation was carried out by coalition-supported Iraqi security forces and Sons of Iraq, [also known as Awakening Councils], the Sunni paramilitary groups composed mainly of former insurgents who now work with U.S. forces to fight al-Qaida in Iraq.

The U.S. military said Ghazwan led many terrorist cells in the Tarmiyah and Taji areas, and that he advised and financed other terrorist cells in northern Iraq.

It also said he was responsible for building roadside bombs in the Baghdad area, and for terrorist groups that recruit children and women to conduct suicide attacks against international and coalition forces in Iraq.

Earlier, the U.S. military said coalition forces captured 24 suspected members and associates of al-Qaida in Iraq in operations Friday.

A statement said the operations occurred in and around Baghdad, Tikrit and Mosul. Coalition and Iraqi forces also conducted three synchronized operations in Kirkuk.