Iraqi minister: Security forces have Iraq's most-wanted terrorist surrounded

Iraqi security forces have surrounded Iraq's most-wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the country's interior minister said Monday.

Al-Zarqawi, the leader of the terror network al-Qaida in Iraq, has eluded arrest while kidnapping and killing people in Iraq. On Sunday, militants posted a video on the Internet showing the purported execution of a man identifying himself as Interior Ministry official Col. Ryadh Gatie Olyway.

"We have not arrested al-Zarqawi," Interior Minister Falah al-Nakib said during a news conference. "He is surrounded in a certain area, and we hope for the best. This operation is ongoing. We hope that the situation will be completely different in Iraq at the end of this year."

Al-Nakib said al-Zarqawi was moving in "more than one area," but he refused to give details.

The outgoing interior minister also predicted that the insurgency was nearing an end.

"It think it will collapse very soon," he said, adding: "Maybe by the end of this year, we will see a change, depending on the political situation."

Associated Press

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