Autopsies Show Blast Injuries Killed Zarqawi, Rahman
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 12, 2006 Abu Musab al-Zarqawi died of blast injuries sustained by the coalition bombing of his safe house June 7, coalition officials said today.
The officials also said that DNA testing proves that the body is that of the terrorist leader. "We have clear evidence he died of blast injuries," said Army Dr. (Col.) Steve Jones, the command surgeon in Iraq. "There is no evidence to suggest that he was beaten and I have no reason to suspect that happened."
Jones and coalition military spokesman Army Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell briefed reporters on the results of the autopsies here today.
The results of autopsies on Zarqawi and Sheik Abd al-Rahman - Zarqawi's spiritual adviser - prove that both men died of massive blast injuries. Zarqawi survived for a time, but blast injuries to his lungs stopped oxygen from being absorbed into the blood.
"The cause of death was closed-space primary blast injury of the lung," Jones said. "Blast waves from the two bombs caused tearing, bruising of the lungs and bleeding."
The injuries cannot be seen without opening the body. "All the injuries found were consistent with those found on blast victims," Jones said.
Coalition experts conducted the autopsies to put an end to "speculation, misinformation and propaganda," Caldwell said.
The Iraqi people deserve the facts and the fact "that he was treated better in death than he treated his victims in life," Caldwell said.
Senior DoD pathologists conducted the autopsies. "Two medical examiners participated in each autopsy to ensure it was thorough and there were no questions about the findings," Jones said.
All coalition officials said that the bodies of Zarqawi and Rahman were treated with the utmost respect. "We treated them with the same high degree of dignity and respect that we treat our own casualties," Jones said.
Caldwell said coalition and Iraqi forces conducted 11 raids, mostly in the Baghdad region, on targets from information gleaned from the ruins of the house Zarqawi was killed in.