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New Osama tape genuine: US

india Updated: Jul 01, 2006 12:33 IST
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US authorities on Friday confirmed the authenticity of a latest audiotape released by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The Central Intelligence Agency said in a statement that technical analysis had determined that the speaker in the tape was bin Laden.

The 19-minute tape was released on the Internet earlier on Friday.

In his monologue, bin Laden praised Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, his top operative in Iraq who was killed on June 7 in a US air strike, as a "martyr", demanding that US President George W Bush hand over the body of al-Zarqawi to his family.

It was the fourth audio message put out this year by bin Laden, though new video images of him have not appeared since October 2004.

Earlier this month, Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zarqawi vowed vengeance against the US for the death of Zarqawi.

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