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Syria activists reject Qaeda call for Islamic state

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Syrian activists on Thursday dismissed as “blatant interference” a weekend call by Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri for an Islamic state to be established in the strife-torn country.

“The Local Coordination Committees in Syria completely reject the statement by … Zawahiri in which he called for the establishment of an Islamic state in Syria,” said the LCC, a network of peaceful activists on the ground.

“The LCC condemns (Zawahiri’s) blatant interference in Syria’s internal affairs,” it added.

The LCC’s statement comes a day after Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, pledged allegiance to Zawahiri but distanced itself from claims of a merger with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The LCC made no mention of Al-Nusra’s statement, while debate rages among activists over whether the powerful jihadists should be recognised as a legitimate part of Syrian revolutionary forces.


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