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Osama asks Muslims to become martyrs

world Updated: Jul 15, 2007 15:06 IST

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a new video footage has encouraged Muslims to become "martyrs" praising martyrdom as a weapon and a path to glory.

The video which was intercepted before it was to appear on radical websites, lasts 40 minutes and was likely compiled in the last four weeks, CNN said on Saturday.

Bin Laden who appears only for 50 seconds in the video, has glorified the dead Al-Qaeda fighters and wished himself the status of a martyr, according to the CNN translation of his remarks from Arabic. "The Happy (man) is the one who was chosen by God as a martyr," Bin Laden said.

He was wearing army fatigues and appeared to be addressing followers, an environment similar to that on former releases, the report said.

Part of the video features purported Al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan paying tribute to fellow militants who have been killed in the country.

The undated footage also contains old clips and its authenticity has not been verified. CNN did not say how the video was intercepted.

For the past several weeks, some radical websites have said there will be "good news soon from Sheikh Osama bin Laden".

US doubles bounty on Osama

The US Senate voted on Friday to double the bounty on Bin Laden to $50 million and require the government to refocus on capturing the Saudi-born militant.

Bin Laden is believed to be hiding in remote northwestern Pakistan - a place US intelligence officials said has been made impervious to any financial rewards.