Agam's Gecko
Thursday, June 08, 2006

he Associated Press satellite video feed has just begun broadcasting a news program in Arabic. Of course I can't understand what's being said, but I know they're talking about Abu Musab al Zarqawi. It seems like a pretty big deal.

Now the feed has switched over to an event with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki and other Iraqi officials along with US Ambassador Khalilzad and General Casey. The PM just made an announcement to the press in the room, using Zarqawi's name -- the room erupted in thunderous applause. I figure it has to be the long awaited capture or killing of the vicious thug.

Now Khalilzad is speaking in English, and I can make out parts of his words beneath the overdubbed Arabic translation. Zarqawi is dead! A quick check on Reuters confirms it:
The al Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in a U.S. air attack in Baghdad, ABC news reported on Thursday.

"Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed in Baghdad during a bombing raid," ABC said.
General George Casey, the senior US general in Iraq is now speaking, but I can't make out much due to the overdubbed Arabic translation. Here's the latest from the AP wire:
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida-linked militant who led a bloody campaign of suicide bombings, kidnappings and hostage beheadings in Iraq, has been killed in a U.S. air raid north of Baghdad, Iraq's prime minister said Thursday.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said al-Zarqawi was killed Wednesday evening along with seven aides.
Now some American journalists are asking silly questions like, "Can you tell us if this is going to mean anything to the American people..." and the Arabic news station immediately broke away and back to the studio. Good move! Who needs to listen to that kind of stupid stuff anyway.

Zarqawi (and seven of his inhuman cohorts) is dead! And if those Iraqi journalists in the room are any indication, it's a time for rejoicing.

UPDATE: Further video from the news conference is airing now, and this time I can hear more clearly what General Casey was saying. He says that Zarqawi and one of his top ranked assistants were killed in an air raid last night around 6:15 pm local time. And here's the interesting part: the operation was carried out with informational tips from within his own organisation.

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