|News and opinions on situation in Iraq|
|06/04/04||Zarqawi Threatens Occupation Troops, Shiites In Iraq|
Zarqawi is believed to be behind many attacks in Iraq
DUBAI, April 6 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – Mussab Al-Zarqawi, the alleged mastermind of many attacks in Iraq, vowed Tuesday, April 6, to carry out more deadly operations against the U.S.-led occupation forces as he was sentenced to death in absentia by a Jordanian court for the killing of an American diplomat.
In a recording broadcast on an Islamic website, Jordanian Zarqawi claimed that his “heroic Mujahedin have killed more than 200 soldiers from the coalition of the crusaders” so far, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP). Taking credit for several attacks against the U.S.-led occupation, Zarqawi said “the most recent and not the last was against the Israeli Mossad in the Jabal Lebanon hotel”.
A strong car bomb explosion in front of that hotel last March killed 17 people and wounded a dozen people.
“We have torn up their bodies in several places: at the U.N. in Baghdad, occupation forces in Karbala, the Italians in Nasiriyah, American forces on Al-Khalidiya bridge, U.S. intelligence agents at the Hotel Chahine and the presidential palace in Baghdad, the CIA at the Hotel Rashid, Polish forces at Hilla,” he numerated the attacks.
An expert told AFP on condition of anonymity that the voice on the tape was identical to that of three previous recordings attributed to Zarqawi. Criticizing Shiites
In his message, Zarqawi also sharply criticizes Iraq's majority Shiites as a “Trojan Horse” used by “the enemies of the nation” to take over the country. He also had sharp words for the spiritual head of Iraq's Shiites, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who has appealed for calm and urged dialogue amid recent clashes between Shiites and occupation troops. “The Shiites are the allies of the Jews and Americans. They are helping kill Muslims," he said.
A close aide to Sistani said Tuesday that the veteran Shiite leader has voiced his solidarity with Sadr in his confrontations with the U.S.-led occupation troops.
Sistani said “the demonstrators' demands are legitimate” and “condemns acts waged by the occupation forces and pledges his support to the families of the victims”, the aide said.
A total of 87 Iraqis have been killed and some 400 wounded in the clashes across Iraq between occupation forces and Shiites, which erupted on Sunday, April 3.
The clashes have occurred in the Shiite-dominant areas of Sadr City and nearby Shoula neighborhood, as well as cities south of Baghdad, including An-Najaf, Karbala, Kufa, Amara, Nasiriyah and Basra. Zarqawi, whose real name is Fadel Nazzal Al-Khalayleh, is considered by U.S. officials as one of Al-Qaeda's top experts in biological and chemical weapons.