Al Qaeda Says It Killed Pro-West Sheikh
( Sky ) - The al Qaeda in Iraq terror group has said it killed a prominent pro-Western Sunni sheikh.
Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha was killed in a bomb attack in Anbar province just two weeks after meeting US President George Bush.
He had been hailed as one of the key figures in a US-backed revolt by Sunni Iraqis against al Qaeda.
A statement on the Islamic State of Iraq website said: "Allah enabled your brothers ... to track down and assassinate the imam of infidelity and apostasy."
It called the sheikh "one of the dogs of Bush".
It described Thursday's murder of Abu Risha, killed by a roadside bomb near his home, as a "heroic operation that took over a month to prepare".
In his testimony to Congress this week, the commander of US forces in Iraq has said that Anbar is becoming far safer.
General David Petraeus said that the co-operation of anti-al Qaeda tribal leaders was a key factor in cutting attacks.
The murder of Abu Risha will be seen as a blow to efforts to crush al Qaeda and its supporters in Iraq.