The U.S. command in Baghdad this week ballyhooed the killing of a key al Qaeda leader but later admitted that the military had declared him dead a year ago.
A military spokesman acknowledged the mistake after it was called to his attention by The Examiner. He said public affairs officers will be more careful in announcing significant kills.
The incident shows the eagerness of the command to show progress in dismantling al Qaeda at a time when Democrats and some Republicans are pressing President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq. Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander, has declared al Qaeda enemy No. 1 in Iraq.
Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner began his Monday news conference with a list of top insurgents either killed or captured in recent operations. He said they had been eliminated "in the past few weeks" and were "recent results."
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