IRAQ / JORDAN: Zarqawi's remains are delivered to the FBI for DNA testing as Baghdad residents welcome his...
- Title: IRAQ / JORDAN: Zarqawi's remains are delivered to the FBI for DNA testing as Baghdad residents welcome his death
- Date: 9th June 2006
- Summary: MAN ON HORSE AND CART IN STREET PASSING STREET STALLS
- Reuters ID: LVA8AJFPIK2TUSLDL8WEFD2PG02F
- Duration: 00:00:06
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- Topics: People
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- Story Text: The remains of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi were delivered to an FBI laboratory for DNA testing on Thursday (June 8). It's the final step in confirming that the man U.S. war planes killed on Wednesday (June 7) was al Qaeda's leader in Iraq.
In one of the most significant developments in Iraq since the capture of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Jordanian-born Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike on a "safe house" north of Baghdad. It was a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation helped by tip-offs from Iraqis and Jordanian intelligence.
The U.S. military released pictures of the corpse of the bearded Zarqawi with facial abrasions and eyes closed.
Zarqawi was identified by his fingerprints and tattoos.
Baghdad residents on Friday (June 09) welcomed the Iraqi al Qaeda leader.
His death gave one Baghdad resident hope that the security situation would eventually get better.
"It (the killing of Zarqawi) is a thorn in the eye of our enemies. God willing, the situation will gradually improve," said Wissam Hashim, an Iraqi citizen.
"The killing of Zarqawi is a crushing blow to terrorism, a crushing blow to all those who hurt (the Iraqis). It payback for the families who lost their husbands and sons. He (Zarqawi) increased the number of orphans. He killed and destroyed the world," said Mohammed Kadhim Radhi.
Authorities on Friday enforced a traffic ban in an apparent effort to prevent reprisal attacks.
The ban in Baghdad and in the town of Baquba, near where Zarqawi was killed, will last from 11 a.m. (0700 GMT) until 3 p.m., when Iraqis go to mosques for Friday prayers, the Interior Ministry said.
Suicide car bombers launched by Zarqawi have attacked Shi'ite mosques in the past as part of a campaign to plunge Iraq into sectarian civil war. The traffic ban suggested authorities feared more such attacks.
One analyst said he expected the deadly attacks in Iraq to continue.
"The death of Abu Musab Zarqawi inside Iraq will not affect the Iraqi resistance. The Al Shura council for the Mujahideen started with five factions and now the number of factions has reached nine different factions of Iraqi resistance. There is a secret organised resistance and I think with Zarqawi's death the role of resistance will increase since the American excuse of linking the resistance with imported Abu Musab terrorism no longer exists. Therefore, the legitimacy of the resistance will increase and its role on the ground will be more effective," said Marwan Shehadeh, the general manager of Vision Research Institute, speaking in Amman, Jordan.
The news of Zarqawi's death dominated newspaper headlines in Jordan on Friday.
Born Ahmed Fadhil al-Khalayleh to a notable family that is part of the biggest tribe in Jordan, Zarqawi grew up in the dusty streets of Zarqa, an industrial city where unemployment is high and Islamic militancy widespread.
Jailed by Jordanian authorities for several years in the early 1990s, Zarqawi went on to fight U.S. forces in Iraq, where Osama bin Laden named him the "prince" of al Qaeda in Iraq.
Jordan condemned Zarqawi to death in 2004 for the killing of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Jordan two years earlier.
Any sympathy Zarqawi may have enjoyed from his fellow-countrymen was largely wiped out when his Al Qaeda in Iraq organisation was blamed for three co-ordinated bomb blasts at hotels in the capital Amman last November, which killed 60 and injured 115 more.
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- Embargoed:24th June 2006 13:00