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Alleged Zarqawi Tape Calls on Iraqi Sunnis to Shun Politics


The terrorist group al-Qaida in Iraq has criticized the country's moderate Sunni Arabs for taking part in last month's parliamentary elections and called on them to abandon electoral politics.

The remark came in an audio tape posted on an Islamist web site Sunday. The speaker sounded like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, but the authenticity of the tape could not be verified.

In the tape, he denounced the Iraqi Islamic Party for endorsing a new constitution, and said the largest Sunni Arab party should not be involved in reconciliation because it will lead to the destruction of the Sunni community.

Zarqawi said his group could have disrupted the December 15 balloting, but did not want to harm the Sunni people.

He also criticized Arab countries that met in Cairo in November to seek reconciliation between Iraq's political factions. He said those countries were out to destroy Iraq and cooperate with America.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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