Al-Qaeda's second-in-command praises militant leaders killed in Iraq

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Washington, May 25(ANI): Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has praised two of the group's leaders killed in a shootout last month and offered condolences for their deaths, in an audio tape aired Friday by al-Jazeera TV and monitored by the US-based SITE Intelligence Group.

Al-Qaeda In Iraq (AQI) leaders Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri were killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi military operation in Tikrit on April 18.

In the 27-minute message titled, "Eulogy for the Two Commanders", al-Zawahiri praised the two leaders "for their character and their actions in jihad", The News reports.he message closed with images of attacks carried out by AQI, which al-Zawahiri in his message calls the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI).

Baghdadi was the political leader of AQI while Masri was the insurgent group's self-styled "minister of war". AQI had confirmed their deaths on April 24. (ANI)

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