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World Briefing / Egypt

Al Qaeda deputy presses Pakistanis

July 16, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Al Qaeda's deputy leader called on Pakistanis to join the group's holy war against the United States in Pakistan and Afghanistan and warned they could face the destruction of both countries and provoke God's wrath if they didn't.

Ayman Zawahiri's audio message, which was posted on the Internet, comes as the Pakistani military has stepped up its operations against militants along the border with Afghanistan, including in South Waziristan, where some suspect Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden could be hiding.

The military offensive has received widespread support from Pakistanis who once viewed Al Qaeda and Taliban militants as little threat to the country, but have grown increasingly alarmed as attacks have killed hundreds of Pakistani civilians.

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