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Zarqawi killed in Iraq air raid

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Zarqawi killed in Iraq air raid


Abu Musab al-Zarqawi appeared in a video earlier this year

Militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has announced.

"Today we have eliminated Zarqawi," Mr Maliki said, sparking sustained applause. The US said he was killed in an air raid near Baquba.

The Jordanian-born leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq was considered the figurehead of the Sunni insurgency.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been blamed for scores of bombings that have killed hundreds of Shias and US forces.

His death does not mean either the Islamist al-Qaeda elements or nationalist fighters will give up, says the BBC News website's world affairs correspondent, Paul Reynolds.

This is a message to those who choose the path of violence to change their direction before it is too late

Nouri Maliki

Iraqi prime minister

In quotes: World reaction


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3681938.stmWatch the speech

Indeed his removal might well bring about an explosion of revenge by his followers, he adds.

The head of US-led forces in Iraq, General George Casey, said Zarqawi was killed at 1815 on Wednesday, in an air strike against an "isolated safe house... approximately 8km (five miles) north of Baquba".

"Iraqi police were first on the scene after the air strike," he said, followed shortly afterwards by coalition forces.

Zarqawi was said to have been in a meeting with associates at the time. Several other people were reported to have been killed in the raid.

General George Casey said Zarqawi's body was identified through fingerprints and facial recognition.


The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Zarqawi's death marked "a great success for Iraq and the global war on terror... Zarqawi was the godfather of sectarian killing and terror in Iraq".

But he cautioned that it would not end violence in the country.

Zarqawi has been accused of leading the rash of kidnappings and beheadings of foreign workers.

It has been suggested that he appeared personally on one video posted on the internet, cutting off the head of a hostage.

Local help

Mr Maliki said intelligence from Iraqi people had helped track down Zarqawi, who had a $25m price on his head - the same bounty as that offered by the US for al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.


US $25m bounty on head

Linked to Iraqi bombings, assassinations and beheadings

Merged Iraqi insurgent group with Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network in 2004

Emerged in Iraq as Tawhid and Jihad group chief

Linked to Casablanca and Istanbul blasts, in 2003

Foreign fighter against Soviet forces in Afghanistan in 1980s

Jordan petty criminal in youth


Obituary: Zarqawi

"What happened today is a result of co-operation for which we have been asking from our masses and the citizens of our country," he said.

The prime minister urged Iraqis to join political dialogue rather than violence, vowing to "carry on on the same path... by killing all the terrorists".

Shortly after the Zarqawi annoucement, the Iraqi parliament approved Mr Maliki's nominees for the key government posts of defence and interior ministers.

The two crucial roles had remained unfilled despite the formation of a coalition government.



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One more dead terrorist, but more will spring up like weeds. sad.gif


Hopefully, his death and the intelligence found with him will be enough to at least disrupt their operations for awhile.


I am guessing that there will be no new attacks for a few days or there will be a massive amount of attacks in retaliation. It could go either way.



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Insurgent leader had "clear strategy"


Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was associated with many spectacular and bloody attacks both in and outside Iraq.


Last year he claimed responsibility for a triple suicide bombing in his native Jordan. He perhaps gained greatest notoriety though for his beheadings of foreign hostages.


But British defence analyst Michael Clarke says Zarqawi's ultimate goal was to undermine the Iraqi government.


"Zarqawi was extremely ruthless and some people thought he was a psychopath but he wasn't," Clarke said. "He had a very clear strategy to create sectarian violence in Iraq to make it ungovernable and to bring it down so that the Sunnis could eliminate the Shia from Iraq."


Zarqawi was blamed for orchestrating some of the biggest attacks targeting the Shiite majority, including the blast in Najaf in 2003 which killed a senior Shia cleric and 85 others.


"I think with Zarqawi now dead then one of the great engineers of sectarian violence in Iraq is gone but I have to say I think sectarianism is now so deeply ingrained in that society that it would be difficult to see it not continuing," Clarke said.


A string of bombs in Baghdad killed more than 31 people yesterday following the announcement of Zarqawi's death - a sign, skeptics say, that the killing of Iraq's most high profile insurgent will do little to stem the violence tearing the country apart.


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A string of bombs in Baghdad killed more than 31 people yesterday following the announcement of Zarqawi's death - a sign, skeptics say, that the killing of Iraq's most high profile insurgent will do little to stem the violence tearing the country apart


Yeh I thought it would continue. It was probably already set and ready to go ahead and did not need Zarqawi. Let's see if it slows down any without his coordination and contacts.

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I hope he found his 72 virgins unspoiled and well.


On a sidenote:

72 Virgins Club Relaxes Membership Rules


Al Jeezera released a videotape today that shows Abu Musab al-Zarqawi recruiting women for service in the '72 Virgins Club' for suicide bombers. "Reports from Muslim heaven indicate that we are running a little short of virgins", said Zarqawi. "As a result we are temporarily relaxing our membership rules a little", he said. The new rules for women joining the '72 Virgins Club' will be as follows:


1) You're able to go at least three days without having to shave.


2) Size doesn't matter to you.


3) You 'did it' just once but you swear you didn't enjoy it or when you 'did it'; it was with a member of your immediate family.


4) You were just a little drunk when you 'did it' and swear you don't remember much about it.


5) You're supermodel good looking and have 'done it' less than 25 times.


6) You're willing to dedicate your eternal afterlife trying to satisfy a pimple faced suicide bomber with a 4-inch 'Johnson'.


7) You have a good-looking friend who likes to party and is willing to wait here on earth with us until we want to send her to Muslim heaven.


8) You're a guy who feels like he was born in the wrong body but can cook and/or decorate 'on a dime'.


9) You're willing to sign over all your worldly goods to your parish Imam.


10) You like kinky or rough sex and have fantasized about being raped by a hooded man holding an assault rifle to your head.


11) You're good at faking a climax.


12) You've never had a subscription to 'Oprah' or 'Redbook'.


13) You don't need foreplay or cuddling and are willing to train other Muslim women until you're needed in Muslim heaven.


14) You get off on seeing infidels beheaded.


15) You can karaoke Barbara Streisand songs.


Zarqawi added "If you have any naked pictures of yourself please submit them for my review". He added, "The first 10 girls to sign-up will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card".



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