A Moroccan fighter identified by the US military as the No. 2 commander in Al Qaeda in Iraq detonated a suicide vest rather than surrender when American soldiers attacked his hide-out last week in the northern city of Mosul, a military spokesman said today.
The fighter, known as Abu Qaswarah or Abu Sara, led Al Qaeda in Iraq’s northern operations and was the point man for smuggling foreign fighters into that region, according to the military.
US forces were raiding a building where Abu Qaswarah was holed up on Oct. 5 when a gunfight erupted, the military spokesman said. The militant leader, who suffered gunshot wounds, moved upstairs with his fighters and some women and children, and exploded his suicide vest, the spokesman added.
The gunfight and explosion claimed the lives of four other fighters, three women and three children, said the spokesman, who requested anonymity.
“It was a crazy scene,” he said. “It’s not clear who died from what.”
via LA Times: No. 2 Al Qaeda Boss in Iraq Is Dead