Tape Linked To Al-Qaeda Urges Fight to 'Martyrdom'

Friday, January 5, 2007

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 5 -- A purported audiotape message by al-Qaeda's deputy leader urged Somali supporters of the country's Islamic movement Friday to launch an Iraqi-style guerrilla campaign of suicide and other forms of attacks against Ethiopian forces in Somalia.

Ethiopia helped Somalia's interim government rout the Islamic movement in fighting that flared late last month.

"As happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, when the world's strongest power was defeated by the campaigns of the mujaheddin troops going to Heaven, so its slaves shall be defeated on the Muslim lands of Somalia," said Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

"You must ambush, mine, raid and [carry out] martyrdom campaigns so that you can wipe them out," he said.

The tape was posted on a Web site used by militant Islamic groups. The authenticity could not be verified immediately, but news correspondents familiar with Zawahiri's voice believed the recording was of him.

Somalia's Islamic movement, which took control of the capital, Mogadishu, in June and had imposed Islamic law across much of the south, abandoned the capital last week in the face of advancing Ethiopian and government forces.

[The Associated Press reported that Somali government troops backed by Ethiopian soldiers battled about 600 Islamic militiamen Thursday at the southern tip of Somalia, and U.S. Navy forces prevented the Islamic fighters from fleeing by sea, authorities said.]

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