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Scars used to identify al-Zarqawi

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Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Iraq
Acts of terror
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(CNN) -- Scars and fingerprints were used by U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq to identify the body of insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, officials said.

In a statement Thursday announcing details of the killing of al-Zarqawi, U.S. General George W. Casey said the body of the most-wanted insurgent in the violence-ridden country was recovered after an airstrike.

He said Iraqi police were first on the scene, 8 kilometers (5 miles) north of the city of Baquba, followed by coalition troops. (Watch the military drop two bombs on al-Zarqawi -- 2:00)

"Coalition forces were able to identify al-Zarqawi by fingerprint verification, facial recognition and known scars," Casey's statement said.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell added that Al-Zarqawi's body was taken to a secure location, where he was visually identified by "scars and tattoos consistent with what had been reported and what we knew about him."

"We have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Zarqawi was in the house. It was 100 percent identification," Caldwell said, but the military intends to conduct DNA tests anyway.

The DNA analysis will be conducted by the FBI at its labs in Quantico, Virginia, according to a statement from Special Agent Richard Kolko in Washington. A DNA sample was expected to arrive Thursday.

FBI agents also helped match al-Zarqawi's fingerprints to ones they already had on file, Kolko said in the statement.

The double-cross

Casey said information that led to the airstrike came from informants close to the insurgent leader. (Watch the gun-toting video that might have helped do him in -- 2:21)

"Tips and intelligence from Iraqi senior leaders from his network led forces to al-Zarqawi and some of his associates who were conducting a meeting."

Casey went on to say that the killing was unlikely to stem violence in Iraq.

"Al-Zarqawi and al Qaeda in Iraq have conducted terrorist activities against the Iraqi people for years in attempts to undermine the Iraqi national government and coalition efforts to rebuild and stabilize Iraq. He is known to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqis. (Watch how Iraqi leaders cheered after learning of al-Zarqawi's death -- 4:31)

"Al-Zarqawi's death is a significant blow to al-Qaeda and another step toward defeating terrorism in Iraq.

"Although the designated leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq is now dead, the terrorist organization still poses a threat as its members will continue to try to terrorize the Iraqi people and destabilize their government as it moves toward stability and prosperity."

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