U.S. failed to capture al-Zarqawi

U.S. forces "just missed" capturing terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a gunfight over the weekend in the northern city of Mosul, U.S. military sources told.

The military had intelligence that indicated al-Zarqawi was meeting with high-level Iraq in al-Qaida lieutenants, a Pentagon source confirmed.

As soldiers closed in on the site, there was an exchange of small arms fire, then it appears the three al-Qaida suspects blew themselves up to avoid capture.

The military is conducting DNA tests on flesh and blood recovered from the scene, but a Pentagon official said indications are that al-Zarqawi is not among those killed.

"The information was solid. We just missed him," said one Pentagon source.

Separately, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Sunday that reports of al-Zarqawi's death were "highly unlikely and not credible."

"We have no indication that al-Zarqawi was killed in this fight and we continue operations to search for him," added Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a U.S. military spokesman.

The elusive al-Zarqawi has narrowly escaped capture in the past, according to NBC.


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