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Published:June 14th, 2006 06:35 EST
Zarqawi's Dead

Zarqawi's Dead

By Francis Karugah

The Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, born Ahmad Fadhil Nazzal Al Khalyeh on October 20, 1966 was killed last week by a U.S. aircraft bomber.  Al-Zarqawi blamed for bombings, beheadings and assassinations, was the leader of Alqaeda in Iraq, a movement that sought to spread the Sunni-Shiite strife across the Middle East.

President Bush admitted that his death would certainly not end the violence but said it was a step in the right direction. Bush also said that the American forces had “delivered justice”. British Prime Minister, Tony Blair said he expected insurgents to seek revenge, adding that Zarqawis death was significant as it had dealt a big blow to Al-Qaeda.

In Baghdad there was jubilation after the announcement of Al-Zarqawis death in hopes of the violence ending. When the American forces showed the face of the dead Al-Qaeda leader, one man on the streets of Iraq shouted, “Al-Zarqawi may you burn in hell”. The American forces carried out the attack with the aid of Iraqi forces, a move that shows they have finally come of age to protect their country.

They termed the operation as a result of tip-offs from the Iraqis and Jordanian intelligence. Seven Al-Zarqawi officials also died in the attack with the American forces saying Al-Zarqawi was still alive when the forces went into the safe house. He had a 25 million dollar reward on his head and the Iraqi Prime Minister said it would be “paid”.

Street thug

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi rose from the life of a street thug in Jordan, getting arrested in the 1980s for rape to become the symbol of Holy war in Iraq, masterminding the bloodiest suicide bombings, beheading of hostages and helping push Iraq into a spiral of sectarian violence with vicious attacks against Shiites. Al-Zarqawi is believed to have personally beheaded at least two American hostages, Nicholas Berg and Eugene Armstrong in September 2004. 

Zarqawi also claimed responsibility for the triple suicide bombing against hotels in Amman that killed 60 people. Among the dead were members of a wedding party in the Hyatt Hotel. Mrs. Huzeifa lost two sons in the attacks and said Zarqawis death was a relief from the grief she felt as her sons left 7 children behind. After the hotel bombing, there were demonstrations against the act with people saying Islam wasn’t for killing of innocent people. Al-Zarqawis family then bought space in the local media to renounce all ties to him. Al-Zarqawi was later to admit that the bombings were a mistake.

An uncle to Zarqawi Yazm Khalyeh said he was saddened by Zarqawis death, as he was fighting the infidels. He said he was praying for 1,000 “Zarqawis” to fight the Americans in his place.