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Zarqawi reportedly evacuated from Iraq

UPI | May 25 2005

BAGHDAD, May 25 (UPI) -- A militant Islamic Web site reported Wednesday Iraq al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was evacuated from Iraq after being injured.

Zarqawi's group, al-Qaida Organization in Mesopotamia, said in a statement carried on the site Zarqawi was moved secretly to a neighboring country with the help of doctors from the Arab Peninsula and the Sudan.

The group did not identify the country to which Zarqawi was evacuated but said he is in a stable condition after a bullet pierced the right side of his chest causing breathing problems.

The group said in a message on the Web site Tuesday Zarqawi had been wounded. It asked for "prayers for our leader," and expressed pride at what they described as his heroic wounds. It did not say how or when the Jordanian-born Zarqawi was hurt.

The Bush administration named Zarqawi as an al-Qaida terrorist who fled to Iraq from Afghanistan in May 2002 for medical treatment for a severe leg injury. There is a $25 million bounty on his head.

His organization has been blamed for the majority of bomb attacks, kidnappings and assassination attempts in Iraq.

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