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Afghan Rebel Urges Attacks Against U.S.

Afghan rebel commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said he is proud the United States has branded him a terrorist and echoed Osama bin Laden’s call for suicide attacks against Americans, according to a statement obtained Sunday by The Associated Press. Calling the United States the “big Satan of the world,” Hekmatyar, a former Afghan prime minister, also vowed jihad against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. American forces are combing parts of eastern Afghanistan for Hekmatyar, his loyalists and Taliban and al-Qaida fugitives. “I am thankful to Almighty God that the United States of America thinks I am a terrorist. It is a matter of pride for me that such a strong country wants to punish me for the sake of my holy religion, Islam,” the statement attributed to Hekmatyar said. “I ask the Muslims of the world to wage a guerrilla war by using suicide attacks,” the statement said. “Now is not the time for large-scale group assaults, but rather for individual attacks.” The Pashtu-language statement was provided to the AP by a security officer in Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e-Islami group at an Afghan refugee camp in northwest Pakistan. Hekmatyar’s signature was confirmed by a former member of his group. Full Story

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