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Al-Zarqawi Was 'Indiscriminate Slaughterer,' Fort Bragg Commander Says

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — The United States won a major battle in the war on terrorism Thursday when soldiers killed the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq.

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi , the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq who masterminded some of the bloodiest suicide attacks there in recent years, was killed when U.S. warplanes dropped 500-pound bombs on his isolated safe house in Baghdad, officials said Thursday.

"He's an indiscriminate slaughterer," said Fort Bragg's commander Lt. Gen. John Vines, who led more than 150,000 troops in Iraq and commanded units from 27 countries. "He slaughtered for blood for its own sake."

At one point, one of Vines' jobs was to hunt Al-Zarqawi and either capture or kill him.

"The Iraqi people have suffered mightily at his hands," Vines said. "American people have suffered at his hands. Innocents have suffered. Jordanians have suffered. He attacked weddings, for crying out loud, in Jordan."

Vines said Al-Zarqawi's death is a major victory, but only one step in the war on terrorism. Other generals feel the same.

"As most Americans, I was absolutely delighted," said Tarboro native Gen. Hugh Shelton, former Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff on Thursday at Fayetteville's Airborne and Special Operations Museum. "Not that it's a panacea, but a leader of that particular organization is no longer there."


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