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Al-Qaeda video belies death claim

9 February 09 16:14 GMT
By Syed Shoaib Hasan
BBC News, Islamabad

A senior al-Qaeda leader who the Pakistani military said may have been killed in fighting last August has reappeared with a video message.

Officials thought Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, believed to be al-Qaeda's military commander in Afghanistan, may have died in August in the Bajaur tribal region.

But in the new video he reappears to warn India it will be targeted in future Mumbai-style attacks.

Yazid is said to have been involved in a number of terror attacks in Pakistan.

They include last year's Danish Embassy bombings in Islamabad and the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.

High ranking

Referring to India's "humiliation" over Mumbai, Yazid says in the video: "India should know that it will have to pay a heavy price if it attacks Pakistan.

"The Mujahideen will sunder your armies into the ground, like they did to the Russians in Afghanistan."

Yazid also calls on the people of Pakistan to rise up and overthrow the government and president.

Yazid is said to be in charge of al-Qaeda's operations in this region and is ranked behind No2 Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Last year he claimed that al-Qaeda was responsible for the assassination of Mrs Bhutto.

Yazid was last heard in August 2008 when he confirmed the death of al-Qaeda chemical-weapons expert, Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar.

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