US President George W Bush's approval rating nudged up slightly with the killing of Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to a survey.
But the three percentage point jump, to 36 per cent from 33 per cent last month, means that Bush's ratings are still lower than the 40 per cent they hit in February, the Pew Research Center study said yesterday.
Bush enjoyed a similar boost in popularity following the December 2003 capture of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, only to see the figure slide as the unpopular war in Iraq dragged on.
The poll found that Americans' perception of Bush's handling of the Iraqi campaign rose to a 35 per cent approval figure from 30 percent in a February study.
Some 53 per cent said that things were progressing "very/fairly well" while 43 per cent said they were going "not too/at all well."
The poll also said Americans remained split over whether the United States should immediately pull troops out of Iraq -- with 45 per cent approving the option, and 50 per cent saying they wanted American forces to stay until the situation had stabilised.
Zarqawi was killed on June 7.
The poll conducted June 14-15 among 1,501 Americans reported a margin error of between three and four percentage points.