Woman detained in Lebanon is not ISIL chief’s wife: Iraq

Iraq's interior ministry has disputed reports that the woman arrested in Lebanon is the wife of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, saying she is in fact the sister of another militant.

BAGHDAD // Iraq’s interior ministry said on Wednesday that a woman detained by Lebanese authorities was not the wife of ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, but the sister of a man convicted of bombings in southern Iraq.

“The one detained by Lebanese authorities was Saja Abdul Hamid Al Dulaimi, sister of Omar Abdul Hamid Al Dulaimi who is detained by authorities and sentenced to death for his participation in ... explosions,” ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said.

“The wives of the terrorist Al Baghdadi are Asmaa Fawzi Mohammed Al Dulaimi and Esraa Rajab Mahel Al Qaisi, and there is no wife in the name of Saja Al Dulaimi,” he said.

Gen Maan said Saja Dulaimi had fled to Syria where she was detainees by authorities. She was part of a group of female detainees freed in exchange for the release of a group of nuns captured by Islamist rebels in Syria, he said.

Security officials in Lebanon said on Tuesday the Lebanese army had detained a wife and daughter of Mr Al Baghdadi’s as they crossed from Syria late last month.

They were detained in northern Lebanon after the woman was found with a fake passport, officials said. Investigators were questioning her at the Lebanese Defence Ministry.

Also on Wednesday, a Lebanese military expert was killed and two others were wounded when a bomb they were about to dismantle near the border with Syria exploded, the army said.

The explosion comes a day after an ambush by militants in the same area killed six soldiers and wounded one.

The army said the bomb was found on the outskirts of the town of Arsal on Wednesday morning. Troops found the bomb as an army patrol was combing the area in the aftermath of Tuesday’s ambush near the village of Ras Baalbek.

The predominantly Christian village was almost empty, and few people were seen in the streets. Special forces were taking part in search operations as a Lebanese military aircraft flew overhead.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s ambush or for planting the bomb that was discovered Wednesday.

* Reuters and Associated press

Published: December 4, 2014 04:00 AM

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