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Zarqawi Autopsy Brief

Multi-National Force-Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Spokesman for Multi-National Force – Iraq , Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, held a press conference discussing the recent autopsies of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Sheik Abd Al Rahman.

During the conference Caldwell introduced Col. Stephen Jones, MNF – I command surgeon, who was present for the procedures. Jones discussed the men's injuries and their believed origins.

The autopsies were conducted by two of the top U.S. Defense Department forensic pathologists who were flown to Iraq to conduct the procedure.

Al-Zarqawi, Jones said, died from closed space primary blast injuries. These injuries included rupturing of the eardrums along with hemorrhaging in the lungs. Bruises, abrasions and lacerations were also found on the head, body and extremities with a fractured leg.

Rahman's cause of death was due to secondary and tertiary blast injuries. During the blast Rahman suffered a serve skull fracture that resulted in hemorrhaging, lacerations of the liver, and multiple rib fractures that resulted in pulmonary hemorrhaging. Due to these injuries the examiners predicted that Rahman died instantly

“The bombing occurred at about 6:12 p.m., Coalition forces were at the safe house at 6:40 p.m.,” Caldwell said.

Jones said the Saturday autopsy showed that al-Zarqawi died from injuries to his lungs.

"Blast waves from the two bombs caused tearing, bruising of the lungs and bleeding," he said. "There was no evidence of firearm injuries."

Both bodies, along with a third man are still under Coalition control. Caldwell said the Coalition was working with the Iraqi government to decide a final outcome for the men, but it still has not been settled. Caldwell did however; state that the bodies were being treated with the up most of care.

"These autopsies were performed to make a definitive determination as to the cause of both Zarqawi's and Rahman's deaths," Caldwell said. "The scientific facts provide irrefutable evidence regarding the deaths of terrorists will serve to counter speculation, misinformation and propaganda."

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