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Report: al-Zarqawi killed by explosions in Mosul


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Well, this would be nice. Guess they won't know until they sponge some pieces off the walls


At least one Arab television media outlet reported that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed in Iraq on Sunday afternoon when eight terrorists blew themselves up in the in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The unconfirmed report claimed that the explosions occurred after coalition forces surrounded the house in which al-Zarqawi was hiding.

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MSNBC now reporting it:


U.S., U.K. soldiers killed in separate incidents

8 suspected al-Qaida die in fight; officials checking if al-Zarqawi was one

The Associated Press

Updated: 4:24 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents killed an American soldier near Baghdad and a British trooper in the south on Sunday, and U.S. forces sealed off a house in the northern city of Mosul where eight suspected al-Qaida members died in a shootout — some by their own hand to avoid capture.

In Washington, a U.S. counterterrorism official said the identities of the suspected al-Qaida members was unknown. When asked if they could include terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the official replied: “There are efforts under way to determine if he was killed.”

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

Earlier, an ambush on a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol northwest of Baghdad left 15 civilians, eight insurgents and a U.S. Marine dead from a roadside bomb and the firefight that followed, a U.S. military statement said Sunday.

The attack began Saturday with a roadside bomb detonating next to the Marine’s vehicle in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. command said.

Fifteen Iraqi civilians also were killed by the blast, which was followed by an insurgent shooting attack, the statement said.

“Iraqi army soldiers and Marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding another,” the statement said.

A later statement said a U.S. soldier was killed by small-arms fire while on patrol north of Baghdad. No other details were provided.

At least 2,092 members of the U.S. military have died since the war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The toll includes five soldiers who died Saturday in a pair of roadside bombings near Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad, and a soldier who died in a U.S. hospital in Germany from injuries suffered Thursday when his vehicle was rammed by an Iraqi car near Beiji.

Britain’s Defense Ministry also said Sunday that a British soldier was killed and four were wounded in a roadside bombing near Basra in southern Iraq. Basra is the main base for British forces in the region.

The death brings the number of British troops killed in Iraq to 98, the ministry said.

Sunni leaders press for timetable

At a U.S.-backed reconciliation conference in Cairo, Egypt, Sunni leaders are pressing ahead with demands that the Shiite-majority government agree to a timetable for withdrawing all foreign troops.

With less than a month to go before the vote, an electoral commission official said Sunday that hospital patients, prisoners and members of the Iraqi security forces will be allowed to vote three days early.

The “special voting” will take place Dec. 12, Farid Ayar said. The elected legislators will serve four-year terms.

Past voting in Iraq has involved massive security operations to ensure a peaceful vote. U.S. and Iraqi officials hope the country’s Sunni Muslim minority will participate in large numbers following widespread boycotts of votes in the past.

In western Baghdad, hundreds of marching Iraqis — mostly Sunnis — demanded an end to the torture of prisoners, and called for the international community to pressure Iraqi and U.S. authorities to ensure that such abuse does not occur.

Anger over detainee abuse has increased sharply since U.S. troops found 173 detainees at an Interior Ministry prison in Baghdad’s Jadriyah neighborhood. The detainees, mainly Sunnis, were found malnourished and some had torture marks on their bodies. Sunni Arabs dominate the insurgent ranks.

Carrying posters of tortured prisoners, disfigured corpses and U.S. troops arresting locals, the nearly 400 demonstrators marched from the office of the Front for National Dialogue, a Sunni political group, a few hundreds yards in the western neighborhood of Jamia before dispersing peacefully.

“We condemn torture and we call on the United Nations and the international community to put pressure on the Iraqi government and the Americans,” Ali al-Saadoun, of the Sunni Muslim group, told the demonstrators. “We want all the detainees released.”

Conference in Egypt

The demonstration came as Iraqi officials met in Egypt at a reconciliation conference organized by the Arab League.

Iraq’s Shiite-led government has promised an investigation and punishment for anyone guilty of torture. Attacks against Shiite civilians by Sunni religious extremists have occurred throughout the Iraq conflict but spiked since the prisoners were found last weekend.

Since Friday, at least 125 Iraqi civilians have been killed in bombings and suicide attacks. They include 76 people who died in near-simultaneous suicide bombings at two Shiite mosques in Khanaqin along the Iranian border. Four people have been arrested, including one believed to have been planning another suicide attack, a security officer in Khanaqin said.

Attack on funeral

On Saturday, a suicide bomber detonated his car in a crowd of Shiite mourners north of Baghdad, killing at least 36 people.

The bomb exploded late in the afternoon as mourners offered condolences to Raad Majid, head of the municipal council in the village of Abu Saida, over the death of his uncle. Abu Saida is near Baqouba, a religiously mixed city 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Police said about 50 people were injured.

Earlier, a car bomb exploded among shoppers at an outdoor market in a mostly Shiite neighborhood in southeast Baghdad, killing 13 people and wounding about 20 others, police reported. Witnesses said they saw a man park the car and walk away shortly before the blast.

In Jordan, family members of Jordanian-born al-Qaida in Iraq chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi renounced the terror leader, whose group claimed responsibility for Nov. 9 suicide attacks on three Amman hotels that killed 59 other people.

The family of al-Zarqawi, whose real name is Ahmed Fadheel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, reiterated their strong allegiance to Jordan’s King Abdullah II in half-page advertisements in the kingdom’s three main newspapers. Al-Zarqawi threatened to kill the king in an audiotape released Friday.

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They're probably in mourning

:laugh: :cheers:

They appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach.

[/url]Presidents address insurgency

Violence continued across Iraq on Sunday, with the presidents of Iraq and the U.S. addressing ways to deal with the insurgency.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said he was prepared to hold talks with those who opposed his government.

"I want to listen to all Iraqis. I am committed to listen to them, even those who are criminals and are on trial," he told reporters in Cairo, Egypt, adding that he would only meet those who had laid down their arms. (Bomb blast kills child

Insurgents in the Baghdad area killed a child and a police officer and wounded at least 12 people Sunday.

A roadside bomb killed the child and wounded five other Iraqi civilians in western Baghdad's al-Jamia neighborhood, Iraqi police said.

Insurgents also was gunned down an Iraqi police officer in a drive-by shooting in western Baghdad, police said.

Maj. Nasir Hamid Bunni, who worked in al-Dora police station, was driving his private car and wearing civilian clothes when he was killed in the Nafaq al-Shurta neighborhood, police said.

Also Sunday, five Iraqi citizens were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. military convoy, Iraqi police said. The U.S. military sealed off the area on Mohammed al-Qasim highway.

In central Baghdad, two civilians were wounded when insurgents fired a rocket that landed on a house in the al-Iqari neighborhood, police said.

Minutes earlier, three bodies were found by Iraqi police on the outskirts of Sadr City in eastern Baghdad. The men were blindfolded, had their hands tied behind their backs and had been shot in the head, police said.

Also Sunday, the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party in Moqtadiye, Sheik Sa'ed El-Mehdawi, died of wounds he received four days earlier when he was shot as he was leaving his home in Moqtadiye, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, Iraqi police said.

Sunday's bloodshed came one day after a suicide car bomber struck a funeral Saturday evening north of Baghdad, killing at least 25 people, Iraqi police in Abu Sayda said. (Other developments

CNN's Cal Perry contributed to this report.

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DEBKAfile Exclusive: US forensic experts are examining the bodies of eight high-ranking al Qaeda leaders in Mosul to find out if their chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is among them. A White House official in Beijing called that prospect “highly unlikely and not credible.”

November 20, 2005, 8:28 PM (GMT+02:00)

A sample of his DNA is in American possession for a match-up.

The bodies they are trying to identify are of 7 men and one woman, who blew themselves up Sunday, Nov. 20, after their hideout in northern Iraq was laid to siege by a large US force, backed by tanks and helicopters. The bodies are burned black and unrecognizable. Four Iraqi security officers were killed and 10 injured in the operation. Eleven US troops were wounded.

Maybe we used some nice Willie Pete on them:)

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Apparently he just barely got away, it looks like...grrrr! Apparently they can find him, they just can't catch him. They did get his computer a while back though, which is interesting.


Al-Zarqawi dead or alive after gunfight?

Minister says he might have died; U.S. military feels it 'just missed' him

NBC News and news services

Updated: 1:54 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's foreign minister said Monday that terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi might have been killed in a gunfight with U.S. forces over the weekend, but U.S. military sources told NBC News that's probably not the case and that troops likely "just missed" capturing him.

"American and Iraqi forces are investigating the possibility that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's corpse is among the bodies of some terrorists who died in the special military operation in Mosul," Hoshyar Zebari told Jordan's official Petra news agency during a visit to Moscow.

A Pentagon source said that the military did have intelligence that indicated al-Zarqawi was meeting in a Mosul home with high-level Iraq in al-Qaida lieutenants. As soldiers closed in on the site, there was an exchange of small arms fire, then it appears that three al-Qaida suspects blew themselves up to avoid capture.

The military is conducting DNA tests on flesh and blood recovered from the scene, but a Pentagon official said indications are that al-Zarqawi is not among those killed.

"The information was solid. We just missed him," said one Pentagon source.

Separately, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Sunday that reports of al-Zarqawi's death were "highly unlikely and not credible."

"We have no indication that al-Zarqawi was killed in this fight and we continue operations to search for him," added Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a U.S. military spokesman.

The elusive al-Zarqawi has narrowly escaped capture in the past. U.S. forces said they nearly caught him in a February 2005 raid that recovered his computer.

Iraqis, soldiers killed

In other incidents:

North of the capital, Diyala provincial police said a car bomb targeting U.S. Humvees killed five civilians and wounded 12 bystanders in the town of Kanan. At least 145 Iraqi civilians have died in a series of attacks over the last four days, including two bombings at Shiite mosques and another at a funeral.

U.S. troops opened fire on a minivan north of Baghdad on Monday, fearing a car bomb attack, and killed at least three members of the same family, including a child, the U.S. military and survivors said. The Army said troops had opened fire after first trying to wave the minivan to a stop and then firing warning shots. “This is a tragedy,” said Maj. Steve Warren, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Baquoba, near where the shooting occurred.

Gunmen killed a Sunni cleric, Khalil Ibrahim, outside his home in the largely Shiite southern city of Basra, police Capt. Mushtaq Talib said. Ibrahim was a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a group of influential Sunni clerics that has been sharply critical of the Shiite-led government.

In Baghdad, three people, including one police officer, were killed by gunmen, police said Monday.

Over the weekend an American soldier near the capital and a Marine in the western town of Karmah were killed in separate insurgent attacks, the military said.

The U.S. military also said Sunday that 24 people — including a Marine and 15 civilians — were killed the day before in an ambush on a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol in Haditha, west of Baghdad in the volatile Euphrates River valley.

The three American deaths brought to at least 2,094 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Rumsfeld on withdrawal

In Washington, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Sunday on ABC television's "This Week" that commanders' assessments will determine the pace of any military drawdown. About 160,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq as the country approaches parliamentary elections Dec. 15.

The Pentagon has said it plans to scale back troop strength to its pre-election baseline of 138,000, depending on conditions. Rumsfeld said Iraqi security forces, currently at 212,000 troops, continue to grow.

Rumsfeld also said talk in the United States of a quick withdrawal from Iraq plays into the hands of the insurgents.

"The enemy hears a big debate in the United States, and they have to wonder maybe all we have to do is wait and we'll win," he told "Fox News Sunday."

Iraq president's plea

In Cairo, Egypt, Iraq's president said Sunday he was ready for talks with anti-government opposition figures and members of Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party, and he called on the Sunni-led insurgency to lay down its arms and join the political process.

But President Jalal Talabani, attending an Arab League-sponsored reconciliation conference, insisted that the Iraqi government would not meet with Baath Party members who are participating in the Sunni-led insurgency.

"I want to listen to all Iraqis. I am committed to listen to them, even those who are criminals and are on trial," Talabani told reporters, but adding that he would only talk with insurgents if they put down their weapons.

In Baghdad, hundreds of Sunnis on Sunday demanded an end to the torture of detainees and called for the international community to pressure Iraqi and U.S. authorities to ensure that such abuse does not occur.

Anger over detainee abuse has increased sharply since U.S. troops found 173 detainees, mainly Sunnis and some malnourished and with torture marks on their bodies, at an Interior Ministry prison in Baghdad's Jadriyah neighborhood.

Iraq's Shiite-led government has promised an investigation and punishment for anyone guilty of torture.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

© 2005 MSNBC.com

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