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'They want Zarqawi. They can't kill him so they're killing us'
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The missiles struck at just after 3am with devastating effect. Eight members of the al-Jabouri family were killed as they slept, their home destroyed. The following morning the US military issued a statement saying that fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, America's number one enemy in Iraq, had been taken out in a precision strike in Fallujah. The town had been pounded nightly for three weeks, with the Americans insisting that those killed and maimed were insurgents mainly from Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group, which kidnapped and murdered the British hostage Ken Bigley and his two American colleagues. Repeated protests by doctors in local hospitals that the vast majority of the casualties are civilians have been dismissed as rebel propaganda. Now the town is waiting for an imminent ground and air assault, amid fears of a bloodbath.

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