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Al Qaeda leader: Avenge Afghan Quran burning

(CBS/AP) CAIRO - Al Qaeda's leader has urged Muslims to take revenge for the February burning of Quran Muslim holy books at a U.S. air base in Afghanistan.

Ayman al-Zawahri posted an audio on a militant website on Wednesday.

He called on Muslims to avenge the burning by fighting "those aggressors who occupied your countries, stole your wealth and violated your sanctities."

Also in the message, al-Zawahri said:" Fight the enemies of Allah; the enemies of his messenger, prayer and peace upon him, the enemies of His Quran. Their defeat began appearing on the horizon, so intensify your attacks on them until Allah gives you dominance over them. "

The recording was released by Al-Sahab, al Qaeda's media arm, and reported by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant messages.

The U.S. apologized, saying the Islamic texts were mistakenly sent to a garbage burn pit. Deadly protests raged in Afghanistan for six days afterward.

Al-Zawahri said the Americans and their allies commit crimes and then pretend to be sorry. He called that a "silly farce." He said: "The Crusader Americans and their allies have showed over and again their grudge and hatred to Islam, the Book of Islam, the Prophet of Islam--prayer and peace upon him--and the Hijab of the female Muslims."

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