AL-ZARQAWI SAID KILLED IN MOSUL ASSAULT ON AL-QAEDA HIDEAWAY; AT LEAST FIVE WOUNDED IN TACOMA, WASH., MALL SHOOTING
by Joe Shea
American Reporter Correspondent
BRADENTON, Fla., 4:36pm EST, Nov. 20, 2005 -- U.S. and coalition troops surrounded members of a suspected al-Qaeda cell reportedly including Iraq's top Al-Qaeda leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and seven other insurgents who were either killed in the assault or blew themselves up inside the house today, an Arabic-language news site reported this afternoon. The coalition units suffered 11 wounded in an "intense firefight," but no deaths, according to U.S. authorities.
"At least one Arab television media outlet reported that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed in Iraq on Sunday afternoon when eight terrorists blew themselves up in the in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The unconfirmed report claimed that the explosions occurred after coalition forces surrounded the house in which al-Zarqawi was hiding," a source told The American Reporter.
The site reported the insurgents had lost "a top leader" and posted al-Zarqawi's photo next to the story.
The Fox News channel reported that five al-Qaeda insurgents were killed by coalition troops and that three remaining fighters strapped on suide vests and blew themselves up.
The news, if confirmed, would be the latest in a series of highly successful raids and attacks on al-Qaida forces by coalition forces that have forced a measure of retreat on the Iraqi insurgency evben as they increased the number of bombings, most of them aimed at Sunni Moslems and Iraqi civilians.
Al-Zarqawi, who was recently disowned by his wife and family, is the highest ranking leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and second in the violent jihad organization of Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, who has eluded capture in Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan as he fled coalition forces since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Meanwhile, a mall in Tacoma, Wash., was the scene of at least five shootings about 3:20pm this afternoon. The Tacoma Mall is in lockdown as authorities try to determine the location of the shooter and any wounded or dead, assistant fire chief John Landosky said.
The shooter is said to still be in the mall "as far as I can understand," Landosky said.