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Al Qaeda Yemen mourns, Taliban swear revenge

world Updated: May 03, 2011 00:46 IST

A member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Osama bin Laden's network in Yemen, on Monday admitted to AFP that the chief of the extremist network had been killed, calling it a "catastrophe."

"This news has been a catastrophe for us. At first we did not believe it, but we got in touch with our brothers in Pakistan who have confirmed it," a member reached by telephone told an AFP correspondent.

In bin Laden's ancestral homeland of Yemen, Saudi and Yemeni al Qaeda branches in January 2009 announced they had merged to form the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

'Number one martyr'
Afghans in Taliban heartland of southern Afghanistan described Osama bin Laden as al Qaeda's "number one martyr".

"Now he is the number one martyr for al Qaeda because he is stronger dead than alive," one man, who asked not to be identified, said on Monday in Kandahar.

"Bin Laden's death doesn't matter because al Qaeda is more than him and it's a big idea now," another Kandahar man said.

A Taliban commander in Afghanistan has promised that his fighters would mount attacks to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces.

The commander, who gave his name as Qudos and operates in the northern province of Baghlan, said that his fighters planned to launch an operation called Bader "to avenge the killing of Osama" and claimed many other similar operations would be launched.

Jihad will continue
An outlet for official messages from al Qaeda has been deleting posts of Osama bin Laden's death and pledged that the jihad, or holy war, will continue, US monitoring group Site said.

It said the Shumukh al-Islam forum has been asking users to wait for confirmation of bin Laden's death before making any more posts, but there was a heavy flow of messages offering prayers and vowing that jihad will continue.