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Rise and fall of Zarqawi

US aircraft killed Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the insurgent leader who masterminded the death of hundreds.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 18:03 IST

US aircraft killed Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the insurgent leader who masterminded the death of hundreds.

Following is a chronology of key events in the life of Zarqawi:

October 1966: Born Ahmed Fadhil al-Khalayleh in Jordanian town of Zarqa.

1984-86: Military service.

1987: Serves brief prison sentence for violent crime.

1989: Travels to Afghanistan to join Islamic groups waging war against occupying Soviet troops. He arrives after Soviets have withdrawn but takes part in factional fighting that follows.

1989-93: Mainly based in Afghanistan, undergoes militant training. Returns to Zarqa in 1993.

1994: Zarqawi's first militant group, Bayt al-Imam, is smashed by Jordanian security forces, and he is sentenced to 15 years jail.

1999: Freed from jail under amnesty granted by King Abdullah shortly after taking office. Travels via Pakistan to Afghanistan, where he joins up with Al-Qaeda.

2000: Zarqawi sets up his own Al-Qaeda training camp near western Afghan city of Herat.

December 2001: Flees to Iran after US invasion of Afghanistan.

April 2002: Leaves Iran for Iraq.

February 2003: Zarqawi attracts widespread international attention when US Secretary of State Colin Powell names him, in run-up to invasion of Iraq, as associate of Osama bin Laden.

February 2004: US says it has seized computer disk containing letter in which Zarqawi claimed responsibility for 25 attacks in Iraq and outlined plans to foment civil war between Sunnis and Shi'ites. Washington doubles reward on his head to $10 million.

April 2004: Zarqawi condemned to death in Jordan for role in Oct 2002 assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley.

July 2004: United States raises price on Zarqawi's head to $25 million.

January 2005: Zarqawi fails to prevent wide participation in Iraqi parliamentary elections despite declaring "bitter war" on democracy and staging attacks to disrupt the polls.

February 2005: Zarqawi narrowly escapes capture by US forces in car chase in western Iraq. US military say they seize his laptop and arrest a driver and an aide.

May 24, 2005: Al-Qaeda in Iraq says in Internet statement that Zarqawi has been wounded.

November 23, 2005: Al-Qaeda in Iraq says media reports that Zarqawi was killed by US forces were a "lie".

December 18, 2005: A Jordanian state security court hands al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi his third death sentence in absentia.

December 28, 2005: Interpol issues an international wanted notice for Zarqawi.

February 15, 2006: Jordan hands down its fourth death sentence in absentia against Zarqawi after finding him and eight others guilty of plotting chemical attacks in the kingdom.

April 25, 2006: Zarqawi appears in a rare video to denounce the new Iraqi government as an American puppet.

June 7, 2006: Al-Qaeda confirm the death of Zarqawi.