(BBC Russia) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has announced that militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed.
The Jordanian-born leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq is considered the figurehead of the Sunni insurgency. Reports say he was killed in an air raid near Baghdad, reports Trend.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been blamed for scores of bombings that have killed hundreds of Shias and US forces.
Zarqawi appeared in a video earlier this year, in which he reproached the US for its "arrogance and insolence".
The BBC's Andrew North in Baghdad says that if the reports are proved to be true it will be seen as a very significant moment in the fight against the insurgency, especially as it comes early in the life of Mr Maliki's government.