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Bin Laden Warns Iraqis Against Joining Unity Government


A new Internet statement purportedly from al-Qaida terrorist network leader Osama bin Laden warns Iraqis against participating in any unity government.

The statement was posted on the Internet Saturday. In it, bin Laden urges Iraqis to reject efforts to rebuild a U.S.-backed national unity government.

The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately confirmed.

In a recording released last month, bin Laden urged European countries to stop helping the U.S. military with the war in Afghanistan.

The Arabic television network Al-Jazeera broadcast brief excerpts of what it said was a recording from the fugitive terrorist. On that tape, bin Laden said he is responsible for the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, and that the Afghan people had nothing to do with them.

Bin Laden also says European nations marched into Afghanistan because they are followers. He says, in his words, "the American tide is receding," and he calls on Europeans to stand against Washington and allied governments.

Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are believed to be hiding in the border area of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The United States has offered a $25 million reward for the capture of each man.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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