Saturday, June 10, 2006

al-Zarqawi was alive...


Abu Musab al-Zarqawi could barely speak, but he struggled and tried to get away from American soldiers as he lay dying on a stretcher in the ruins of his hideout.
The U.S. forces recognized his face, and knew they had the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.
Initially, the U.S. military had said al-Zarqawi was killed outright. But Friday new details emerged of his final moments.

For three years, al-Zarqawi orchestrated horrific acts of violence guided by his extremist vision of jihad, or holy war - first against the U.S. soldiers he considered occupiers of Arab lands, then against the Shiites he considered infidels.

On Wednesday, the U.S. military tracked him to a house northwest of Baghdad, and blew it up with two 225-kilogram bombs.

Al-Zarqawi somehow managed to survive the impact of the bombs, weapons so powerful they tore a huge crater in the date palm forest where the house was nestled just outside the town of Baqouba.

Iraqi police reached the scene first, and found the 39-year-old al-Zarqawi alive.

"He mumbled something, but it was indistinguishable and it was very short," Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman for U.S.-led forces in Iraq, said Friday of the Jordanian-born terrorist's last words.

Iraqi police pulled him from the flattened home and placed him on a makeshift stretcher. U.S. troops arrived, saw that al-Zarqawi was conscious, and tried to provide medical treatment, the spokesman said.

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