Top insurgent may have been moved to Iran, source says. From Reuters:
LONDON – Al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had fled the country after being seriously injured in a U.S. missile attack, a British newspaper reported on Sunday, quoting a senior commander of the Iraqi insurgency.
Al-Zarqawi has shrapnel lodged in his chest and may have been moved to Iran, The Sunday Times newspaper reported, adding his supporters may try to move him on to another country for an operation.
The paper quoted an unnamed insurgency commander as saying the Jordanian-born militant was wounded three weeks ago when a U.S. missile hit his convoy near the northwestern Iraqi city of al Qaim.
“Shrapnel went in between the right shoulder and his chest, ripped it open and is still stuck there,” the commander said, adding a second piece of shrapnel penetrated Zarqawi’s chest but exited from his back.
“There was concern about spinal injuries,” the commander said. “But his ability to move eliminated that fear.”
The Sunday Times said Zarqawi, accused of masterminding many of the worst insurgent attacks in Iraq, was carried from his vehicle after the missile strike and given basic first aid in a hideout.
When he became delirious with fever four days later he was taken to hospital in the city of Ramadi, 68 miles west of Baghdad, it said. The paper did not say when the commander was speaking but said the source had proved reliable in the past…