Baghdad: A top Hezbollah officer who played a key role in an attack on US soldiers in January has been captured in Iraq, CNN reported on Monday.

Ali Mousa Daqduq was captured in Basra where he was helping train Shiite militias to fight coalition troops, CNN quoted US intelligence officials as saying. A Hezbollah spokesman in Lebanon refused to confirm the allegation.

The bomb expert pretended to be deaf and mute when he was captured in March, officials said.

Militants had reportedly planned to take hostages who could be traded for five jailed Iranians during the January 20 Karbala attack. But the plan went awry, resulting in the deaths of five Americans.

Following the attack, coalition troops conducted raids aimed at capturing a Shiite militant leader suspected of involvement in the attack.

Troops found computer documents detailing the planning, training and conduct of the failed kidnapping. They also found Daqduq, whom intelligence officials said has admitted working on behalf of Iran.