12,000 fighters 'deployed in Iraq'

The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq has claimed the mobilisation of 12,000 fighters.

    Al-Muhajir also gloated over the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld

    Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Ayub al-Masri, said in an audio recording posted on the internet on Friday that the group had 10,000 others waiting to be equipped.

    "The al-Qaeda army has 12,000 fighters in Iraq, and they have vowed to die for God's sake," said al-Muhajir in the recording whose authencity has not been independently verified.

    He also pledged his allegiance to a new Islamist state in Iraq and its leader, who he said was Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

    In October, an Iraqi group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq has announced that it has established an Islamic government in Iraq that consists of several provinces, including Baghdad, that have large Sunni populations.

    Al-Muhajir also gloated over the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary.

    He said: "I tell the lame duck [US administration] do not rush to escape as did your defence minister...stay on the battle ground."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.