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Bin Laden threatens French citizens

Osama bin Laden has warned France in a new taped message that its citizens face being killed in revenge attacks.

The al-Qa'ida leader threatened to target French citizens to avenge their country's support for the US-led war in Afghanistan and a new law that will ban face-covering Muslim veils.

The threat came in an audio tape sent to Al-Jazeera television.

Al-Jazeera quoted bin Laden yesterday as saying France was killing Muslim women and children.

"It is a simple equation: If you kill, you will be killed," bin Laden said.

In the tape posted on Al-Jazeera's website, bin Laden said France was aiding the Americans in the killing of Muslim women and children in an apparent reference to the war in Afghanistan.

He said the kidnapping of five French citizens in the African nation of Niger last month was a reaction to what he called France's oppression of Muslims.

"How can it be right that you participate in the occupation of our lands, support the Americans in the killing of our women and children and yet want to live in peace?" asked bin Laden.

The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately verified but the voice resembled that of the terror group leader on previous tapes determined to be genuine.

Irish Independent