Al-Qaeda not behind Pakistan bloodshed: US militant

HONG KONG — An American member of Al-Qaeda on Saturday issued a video denying the organisation was behind a recent deadly string of attacks in Pakistan that have killed hundreds of civilians.
Adam Gadahn said in a video entitled "The Mujahideen Don't Target Muslims" that the organisation was being framed by the United States and Pakistan and blamed the media for helping implicate Al-Qaeda in the attacks.
"The mujahideen have condemned, and continue to condemn, all attacks which indiscriminately kill and wound innocent Muslims," he said according to a transcript from US-based monitor IntelCenter.
Pakistan has been hit by a wave of deadly attacks blamed on Islamist extremists as the military presses a major offensive against Taliban fighters in their strongholds on the Afghan border.
October and early November saw a fierce surge in strikes, including a huge suicide car bombing on October 28 in a Peshawar market that killed 125 people in the worst attack in Pakistan in two years.
This week 49 people were killed when two bombs devastated a market in Lahore, engulfing shops in flames and burying people under the rubble.
In the video, Gadahn refers to "un-Islamic bombings which target Muslims in their markets, mosques, schools, shops and streets".
"The mujahideen declare themselves innocent of these attacks, and pronounce them part of a cynical, calculated and clandestine international campaign by the secular political forces," said Gadahn.
Born in 1978, Gadahn is a native of southern California and has appeared in several videotapes for Al-Qaeda since 2004.
A fierce Islamist insurgency has killed more than 2,670 people in attacks in Pakistan mostly blamed on the Taliban in the last two-and-a-half years.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.
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