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Al Qaida calls for Syria fighters

Al Qaida's leader has urged Sunni Muslims to spare no effort to join the battle in Syria, overthrow President Bashar Assad and set up Islamic rule in the country.

Ayman al-Zawahri called on Sunnis everywhere to devote their lives, money and expertise to the fight and prevent a US-allied government from taking over in post-Assad Syria.

He urged Sunnis to "rise above their differences" and fight expanding Shiite influence in Syria.

The message came in a new audio recording posted today on the Internet. Its authenticity could not be independently confirmed but the message was posted on a militant website commonly used by al Qaida.

Al-Zawahri has repeatedly called for holy war in Syria and has blasted Lebanese Hezbollah militants and Iran for supporting Mr Assad.

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