The story

The Mosul leader of al Qaeda in Iraq was shot to death by Iraqi soldiers during a combat operation in the northern Iraqi city Wednesday, a U.S. military statement said.

It comes as the U.S. records its lowest monthly troop death toll since November, reflecting military hopes that the recent military buildup is making strides.

Iraqi soldiers spotted al Qaeda's emir of Mosul -- known as Safi -- riding in a pickup truck in northeastern Mosul and began chasing his vehicle, the military said in a statement released Thursday. Read full article »

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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