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U.S. medical officer Steve Jones explains al-Zarqawi's injuries to reporters in Baghdad today (epa)
June 12, 2006 -- A United States military spokesman says Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi lived for almost an hour after a U.S. air strike on his hideout north of Baghdad last week.
Major General William Caldwell said al-Zarqawi, who was the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, lived for some 55 minutes after the first bomb struck the safe house in the city of Ba'qubah. He said DNA tests had confirmed al-Zarqawi's identity.
U.S. medical officer Steve Jones said al-Zarqawi died from blast waves caused by the bomb.
"The cause of death was closed space primary blast injury of the lung," Jones said. "Blast waves from the two bombs caused tearing, bruising of the lungs, and bleeding. These injuries are not apparent from an external inspection. They can only be seen by examining the lungs."
Al-Zarqawi and five other suspected militants were killed in the U.S. air raid on June 7.
(Reuters, AP, AFP)
Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi(undated AFP file photo)
COMMITTED TO TERROR: Jordan-born Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi has been among the most visible and ruthless leaders of Iraq's post-Saddam Hussein insurgency. In a tape released earlier this month, al-Zaqawi called on Iraqi Sunnis to fight against Shi'a and labeled Shi'ite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani an "atheist."
Insurgents loyal to Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda-affiliated organization have regained control over much of Al-Anbar Governorate, and are posing a major challenge to U.S. and Iraqi forces. A local security force established by tribesmen under an agreement with the U.S. military has all but ceased operating, after nearly a dozen tribal leaders were assassinated in revenge attacks by insurgents loyal to al-Zarqawi's Mujahedin Shura Council since January. Local tribal leaders now say they are afraid to be seen associating with U.S. forces, lest they be targeted by insurgents....(more)
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THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to see RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.