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Abu Musab al-Zarqawi killed in US air raid


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Story below from AP, Patrick Quinn BAGHDAD, Iraq - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq with a $25 ...




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Old 06-08-2006, 10:22 AM
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Abu Musab al-Zarqawi killed in US air raid


Story below from AP, Patrick Quinn

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq with a $25 million bounty on his head, was killed when U.S. warplanes dropped 500-pound bombs on his isolated safehouse northeast of Baghdad, coalition officials said Thursday. His death was a long-sought victory in the war in Iraq.

Al-Zarqawi and several aides, including spiritual adviser Sheik Abdul Rahman, were killed Wednesday evening in a remote area 30 miles from Baghdad in the volatile province of Diyala, just east of the provincial capital of Baqouba, officials said.

"Al-Zarqawi was eliminated," Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said.

The U.S. military showed a picture of al-Zarqawi with his eyes closed and spots of blood behind him after he was killed by an air strike north of Baghdad.

U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell displayed the photo during a news conference in Baghdad.

Caldwell also showed a videotape of the attack in which he said F-16 fighter jets dropped two 500 pound bombs on the site. He said Iraqi police were first to arrive on the scene, followed by coalition forces.

Al-Zarqawi's body was found and moved to a secure location, where it was positively identified at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, Caldwell said, adding that the confirmation was made with scars, tatoos and fingerprints known to be al-Zarqawi's.

He also said a DNA analysis was being performed to be absolutely sure, but he expressed no doubt that the terror leader was in the house that was hit.

He also said al-Zarqawi's spiritual adviser Abdul Rahman al-Iraqi was at the site.

"We had absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Zarqawi was in the house," Caldwell said.

At the White House, President Bush hailed the killing as "a severe blow to al-Qaida and it is a significant victory in the war on terror."

But he cautioned: "We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continuing patience of the American people."

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Old 06-08-2006, 10:24 AM
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Also, related stories, people in Iraq commenting, from AP:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A Baghdad baker gave out free bread and a school teacher in rebellious Falluja expressed hope the killing of al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would halt Iraq's "rivers of blood."

But other Iraqis lamented the death of Zarqawi in a U.S. air raid north of Baghdad as a great loss in the fight against American occupiers and some feared it would prompt reprisals.

"I hope his death will be a new page for Iraq," said baker Zuhair Yassin, 25. "He can burn in hell."

Isa Younis, a 66-year-old retired teacher, said: "I thank God and the Iraqi government for this huge gift. I don't know how I'm going to celebrate but I know that this is the happiest day of my life."

"I'm overjoyed. God willing this will be the end of all terrorists. I hope Iraq can now begin to stabilize now this pig is dead," said Qeysar Ahmed, a Baghdad shop owner as he watched Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki make the announcement in a televised news conference accompanied by U.S. officials.

The United States blamed Zarqawi, who had a $25 million U.S. bounty on his head, for the beheading of foreign captives and the death of hundreds in suicide bombings. His campaign is also believed to have played a major role in inflaming Sunni-Shi'ite tensions in the country.

But Dya'a Hassan, a 25-year old worker from Ramadi, capital of the Sunni rebel stronghold of Anbar province, said the death of Zarqawi was a blow to the resistance against invaders.

"I think Zarqawi's death is a big loss for Iraq because he made the Americans bow to the ground. The Americans lost many troops because of Zarqawi and his followers," he said.

In Baghdad, Ahmed Jabbar said in the central commercial district that Zarqawi's death would have little effect other than giving a boost to Maliki, who took office on May 20.

Maliki has promised to rein in violence which ends in dozens of bodies being dumped every day in Baghdad and has forced tens of thousands of Iraqis to flee their homes.

"I'm extremely happy he is dead because he was the world's worst criminal but I doubt this will change much in the present other than a morale boost," Jabbar said.

A "U.S. PUPPET"

Maliki, U.S. and British politicians said the killing was a huge victory. But supporters of a partner of the Shi'ite-led government said U.S. forces will use it for their own benefit.

Some experts on Islamist groups have accused the United States of playing up the role of Zarqawi in Iraq to exaggerate America's successes in Iraq.

"We received this news with great joy, but our greater joy will be the departure of the occupation forces from Iraq," said Sahib al-Amiri, a member of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's group in the southern city of Basra.

Civil servant Soran Jalil said pictures of a dead Zarqawi should be displayed in Baghdad's famous Firdos Square -- where U.S. forces toppled a towering statue of Saddam Hussein after entering Baghdad in April 2003.

But the 34-year old from the northern city of Kirkuk said he believed that the violence gripping Iraq was far from over. "I'm afraid there will be al Qaeda reprisals for the killing of Zarqawi."
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:28 AM
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:03 PM
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:37 PM
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:39 PM
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:44 PM
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:01 PM
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Old 06-08-2006, 06:02 PM
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:49 AM
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