Zarqawi lived 52 minutes after bombing, new leader named
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi lived for 52 minutes after a American warplane pounded his hideout northeast of Baghdad, and he died of extensive internal wounds consistent with those caused by a bomb blast, the U.S. military said Monday.
Col. Steve Jones, command surgeon for Multinational Forces, said an autopsy concluded that al-Zarqawi died from serious wounds to his lungs in Wednesday's airstrike. An FBI test positively identified al-Zarqawi's remains, the AP reported.
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Baghdad, said U.S. forces arrived about 28 minutes after a fighter jet bombed al-Zarqawi's hideout outside Baqouba. "It was very evident he had extremely massive internal injuries," Caldwell said.
Al-Zarqawi died 24 minutes after coalition forces arrived, he said.
On its part, al-Qaeda in Iraq, announced in a Web statement Monday that a fighter named Abu Hamza al-Muhajer was appointed its new leader.
The al-Qaida in Iraq statement, signed by the group on an Internet forum where it often posts messages, said al-Muhajer was "a beloved brother with jihadi experience and a strong footing in knowledge."