An autopsy was performed Saturday on body of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, killed Wednesday in a US air strike
US Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman for Multi-National Forces-Iraq, said the body was in a “safe location.” Friday, the spokesman reported the terrorist was mortally wounded but still alive after the US air force struck his hideout.
Disclosing this in Baghdad Friday, US Maj-Gen. Bill Caldwell said he learned after briefings that he was alive when Iraqi police first arrived on the scene. “He mumbled a little something but it was indistinguishable and it was very short.” He also tried to roll off the stretcher. He was re-secured and died almost immediately thereafter.
US officials initially reported that Zarqawi and seven others including a woman and a child were killed in the US air strike.
Asked by reporters if Zarqawi was shot after US ground troops arrived at the scene of the attack, Caldwell said he could not give a definitive answer but there was nothing in the reports of any such wounds. US troops “went into the process of providing medical care” to Zarqawi before he expired, said the US officer, adding the US military was still compiling details of the event including the exact amount of time he was alive after the attack.