Al Qaida confirms Laden' death, vows revenge

Updated: 2011-05-07 08:14


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ISLAMABAD - Al Qieda confirmed on Friday that Osama bin Laden was dead, dispelling doubts by some Muslims the group's leader had really been killed by US forces, and vowed to mount more attacks on the West.

The announcement by the Islamist militant organization, which promised to publish a taped message from bin Laden soon, appeared intended to show its adherents around the globe the group had survived as a functioning network.

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Al Qaida confirms Laden' death, vows revenge US kills bin Laden

In a statement online, it said the blood of bin Laden, shot to death by a US commando team in a raid on Monday on his hide-out in a Pakistani town, "is more precious to us and to every Muslim than to be wasted in vain."

"It will remain, with permission from Allah the Almighty, a curse that hunts the Americans and their collaborators and chases them inside and outside their country."

Al Qaida urged Pakistanis to rise up against their government to "cleanse" the country of what it called the shame brought on it by bin Laden's shooting and of the "filth of the Americans who spread corruption in it."

The statement also warned Americans not to harm bin Laden's corpse and to hand it and those of others killed to their families, although US officials say bin Laden's body has been buried at sea and no others were taken from the compound.

Some in the Muslim world have been skeptical of bin Laden's death. One survey conducted in Pakistan this week by the British-based YouGov polling organization found that 66 percent of over 1,000 respondents did not think the person killed by US Navy SEALs was bin Laden.

Before Friday prayers at a mosque in Paris, one man who declined to give his name said: "This whole story is a myth. They invented it to distract Americans from real problems over there, like the economy and gas prices."

But US President Barack Obama continued to bask in public approval for the killing of bin Laden. He flew to a military base at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on Friday to thank special forces involved in the raid.

"This has been an extraordinary week for our nation," Obama told a jubilant audience of troops. "The terrorist leader who struck our nation on September 11 will never threaten our nation again." But he warned that "this continues to be a very tough fight."

US-Pakistan tensions

Anger and suspicion between Washington and Islamabad over the raid in Abbottabad, 30 miles (50 km) from the Pakistani capital, showed no sign of abating.

A US drone killed 17 suspected militants in northwest Pakistan, despite warnings from the Pakistani military against the mounting of attacks within its borders.

About 1,500 Islamists rallied in the southwestern city of Quetta to vow revenge for bin Laden's death and there were small protests elsewhere. Afghan Taliban and Islamist Indonesian youths made similar threats.

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