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Bin Laden's deputy calls for Pak uprising

world Updated: Jul 12, 2007 11:08 IST
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Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has called on Pakistanis to rise up against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf following the storming of a mosque in Islamabad.

Al-Zawahiri, a native of Egypt, called the assault on the mosque a "despicable crime" and accused Musharraf of working on behalf of the "crusaders" - a reference to the West.

The videotape was translated by the IntelCenter, a firm near Washington, which has provided recordings of al-Zawahiri in the past.

"This is a message of blinding clarity to the Muslims in Pakistan," the Al-Qaeda deputy said. "This crime can only be washed away by repentance or blood."

Pakistani forces stormed the controversial Lal Masjid on Tuesday after a weeks-long standoff with extremists who had taken control of the facility and demanded that the country be governed under Islamic law.