Iraqi resistance will go on: Mullah Omar
A statement attributed to the Taliban leader said there are thousands ready to take Zarqawi's place in Iraq.Updated: Jun 09, 2006 15:37 IST
The death of the Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, will not weaken the Iraqi resistance as there are thousands ready to take his place, a statement attributed to the Taliban chief said on Friday.
Mullah Mohammad Omar also expressed sadness over the death of al-Zarqawi in an air strike on Wednesday in the statement read to journalists in a satellite telephone call by a purported Taliban spokesman.
"I and all Muslims of Afghanistan's resistance are very sad by the martyrdom of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," the statement read out by Mohammad Hanif said.
Nonetheless there would be no decrease in war "against the crusade invasion".
"Zarqawi's martyrdom will not weaken the Iraqi resistance as this is a national resistance -- any youth can become Zarqawi," it said.
"Zarqawi achieved his will and goals. He wanted to forge a massive resistance against Americans and he did that.
Today if Zarqawi is not there, he has left behind thousands of youths who will even accelerate this resistance." it said.
Zarqawi was killed in a joint US-Iraqi raid. US F-16 war planes dropped two 500-pound bombs on him and some associates as they were huddled in a meeting at a safe house.
Al-Qaeda has long been an ally of the Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and is believed to be working alongside the movement now waging an increasingly deadly insurgency against the new government.
The regime was ousted by a US-led coalition in November 2001 for not surrendering Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
There are rare statements released in the name of the fugitive Taliban leader who has been in hiding since the collapse of Taliban regime.
First Published: Jun 09, 2006 14:01 IST