London, Jan.19 (ANI): At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics have died horribly after being struck down by the "Black Death", a disease that ravaged Europe during the Middle Ages.
According to The Sun, the deaths occurred a forest training camp in Algeria, North Africa.
It came to light when security forces found a body by a roadside. The victim was a terrorist in AQLIM (al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb), the largest and most powerful al-Qaeda group outside the Middle East.
It trains Muslim fighters to kill British and US troops.
Now, al-Qaeda chiefs fear the plague has been passed to other terror cells - or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
"It spreads quickly and kills within hours. This will be really worrying al-Qaeda," a security source was quoted, as saying.
Black Death comes in various forms.
Bubonic Plague is spread by bites from infected rat fleas. Symptoms include boils in the groin, neck and armpits. In Pneumonic Plague, air-born bacteria spread like flu.
It can be in the body for more than a week - highly contagious but not revealing telltale symptoms.
The al-Qaeda epidemic is said to have begun in the cave hideouts of AQLIM in Tizi Ouzou province, 150km east of the capital Algiers.
The group, led by wanted terror boss Abdelmalek Droudkal, was forced to turn its shelters in the Yakouren forest into mass graves and flee.
The plague was first noticed in medieval Europe in 1348. It was last noticed in 1665 when it claimed the lives of 30,000 people in London. (ANI)