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Report: Al-Qaeda groups say Hamas "abdicated from Islam"

Aug. 20, 2009 11:34 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 21, 2009 10:28 A.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Websites linked to Al-Qaeda criticized Hamas’ operation against the Salafi group Jund Ansar Allah (Soldiers for God) in the Gaza Strip on Friday, accusing the de facto government of “abdicating from Islam,” CNN Arabic reported on Wednesday night.

The unnamed websites, which the report said were closely affiliated with Al-Qaeda, urged the group's followers to take action against Hamas. They specifically called on Osama Bin Laden and his assistant Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

A statement on the website from unnamed sources, groups expressed condolences for the death of Sheikh Abdul Latif Moussa, the leader of Jund Ansar Allah. Moussa lead hundreds of supporters to a Rafah mosque on Friday and declared the area an "Islamic emirate." Hamas-allied fe facto government police and members of Hamas' armed wing said they were forced to react to the group when shots were fired in a civilian area. Clashes broke out culminating in 24 dead including six government officers, six civilians including two young girls, and 12 Jund Ansar Allah gunmen.

The Al-Qaeda groups' statement called Moussa a “martyr,” saying he was killed by “the bullets and the rockets of Hamas government.” Hamas sources said the ultra-Islamist leader detonated explosives that were strapped to his body.

The statement linked the Hamas action, termed a “massacre” against Jund Ansar Allah, with clashes that took place last summer between Hamas police and members of another radical group, the Army of Islam, in the Ash-Shyjayyiah area of Gaza City.

Hamas was further accused of working against Islamic groups and “Serving the Jews who occupy Palestine, and the Christians who fight against Iraq, Afghanistan Somalia and Chechnya.”

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