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Ayman Zawahri Appointed as Al-Qaida New Leader

CAIRO, June 16 (Xinhua) — Al-Qaida announced on Thursday Ayman al-Zawahri as its new leader to succeed Osama bin Laden, who was killed on May 2 by a special U.S. force in Pakistan, an Islamic website said.

File photo of Osama bin Laden (L) and Ayman al-Zawahri (R) (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

“The general leadership of al-Qaida group, after wrapping up its consultations, announces that the appointment of Sheikh Ayman Zawahri as the leader of the group,” the Islamist website said in a statement.

The statement said the group under the leadership of Zawahri would press head with its strife against the United States, Israel and “whoever supports them.”

Egyptian-born Zawahri, a 60-year-old surgeon, has been hiding since the United States’s announcement of war on terror in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.

In his June 8 Internet message, Zawahri, who has a 25 million- dollar bounty on his head for any information leading to his capture by the U.S. government, vowed the group will continue its fight.

Zawahri traveled in the mid-1980s to Pakistan where he met with Bin Laden and joined together the fight against the Soviets’ occupation to Afghanistan at that time.

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