Fallujans deny al-Zarqawi presence

Iraqi fighters in Falluja, their faces hidden behind chequered cloth, have denied in a taped message that al-Qaida-linked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was holed up in their city.

    The US has offered $10 million for al-Zarqawi's capture

    "The American invader forces claim that al-Zarqawi, and with him a group of Arab fighters, are in our city," a masked man read from a piece of paper on Friday.

       

    "We know that this talk about al-Zarqawi and the fighters is a game the American invader forces are playing to strike Islam and Muslims in the city of mosques, steadfast Falluja."

       

    The United States believes al-Zarqawi, accused of leading a bloody campaign of bombings and of decapitating an American and a South Korean captive, has played a significant role in the violence gripping Iraq.

       

    On the tape, five men holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and machine gun said local fighters were defending their hometown - sometimes known as the "city of mosques".

     

    Bombing

       

    US occupation forces over the past week bombed houses they said were hideouts for al-Zarqawi's fighters.

       

    "We know that this talk about al-Zarqawi and the fighters is a game the American invader forces are playing to strike Islam and Muslims in the city of mosques, steadfast Falluja" 

    Masked man in video message

    A group led by al-Zarqawi, who Washington says has links to al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks in Iraq on Thursday in which at least 100 people were killed and hundreds more wounded.

       

    In one of the attacks, scores of black-clad fighters, some wearing headbands with the name of al-Zarqawi's group, attacked a police station and other government buildings in Baquba, northwest of Baghdad.

       

    Iraq's interim national security minister said on Thursday that Iraqi officials had good intelligence on al-Zarqawi - who this week threatened to assassinate Iraq's prime minister - and plan to pursue him after the formal transfer of power next week.

       

    The US has offered a $10 million reward for his capture.

       

    In April, hundreds of Iraqis were killed in Falluja in fierce fighting between marines and fighters.

     

    A truce was agreed to under which marines withdrew from the city and an Iraqi force took over responsibility for security.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.