Al-Qaeda In Iraq Down 75%, Baghdad Says
But Petraeus calls the group country's 'biggest threat'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 29, 2007 5:23 PM CST
An Iraqi prisoner speaks to Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf while he escorts the news media on a tour of a detention center in the Kazimiyah neighborhood of north Baghdad, Iraq...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Al-Qaeda in Iraq is down 75%, one Baghdad official said today—but US Gen. David Petraeus maintained that al-Qaeda is still “the most significant challenge" facing the country. Maj. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf attributed the alleged al-Qaeda cut to beefed Iraq security, armed Sunni fighters, and the recent US troop surge.

Meanwhile, Iraq's army reported that two key militants connected to al-Qaeda were collared yesterday. Khalaf said such arrests are cornering extremist groups in Iraq. "Their activity is now limited to certain places north of Baghdad," Khalaf said. "We're working on pursuing those groups, that is the coming fight."