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The man terrorising Iraq

April 26, 2006 12:16 IST
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Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq, made a rare appearence on Tuesday in a video message on an Internet site vowing to continue the battle against the 'crusaders.'

He swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden and said any government formed in Iraq would be merely a 'stooge.'

The video was released days after Iraq named a new prime minister and a high-profile audiotape from bin Laden appeared on Arab television.

It showed al-Zarqawi against a flat desert landscape that appeared to be somewhere in Iraq's western Anbar province.

He did not mention either the bin Laden tape or Monday's attack at an Egyptian resort in his message, which he said had been taped last Friday.

Al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, has claimed responsibility for some of the most high-profile suicide bombings in Iraq, and also for a score of other attacks including hotel bombings last November in Jordan.

In the video he sharply criticised the US military in Iraq for what he called suicides, drug-taking and mutinies, and he warned that 'worse' attacks are to come.

Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

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