Osama bin Laden hailed as martyr at Khartoum rally

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 10:02

Khartoum: Around 1,000 Sudanese Muslims
gathered Wednesday at a square in Khartoum, where Osama Bin Laden lived in the 1990s, hailing Al-Qaeda`s slain leader as a "martyr" and shouting anti-US slogans.

"Death to America!" and "Mohammed`s army will return,"
the crowd chanted in Midan al-Mulid square, not far from the
city centre.

At the two-hour rally, which was attended by prominent
Islamist figures in Sudan, prayers were held and speeches made
in honour of Al-Qaeda`s mastermind who was killed by US
special forces in Pakistan overnight on Sunday.

"We hope that the leaders of Islamic countries become
like bin Laden, unlike now, when they store away their rebels
and fighters, without using them to liberate Jerusalem," said
Abu Zaid Mohammed Hamza, who heads the local Islamist group
Ansar al-Sunna.

Abdul Hai Yussef, another radical Sudanese Islamist,
said he had come to the rally, which was organised by an ultra-nationalist uncle of President Omar al-Bashir, "to let the world know that the person killed yesterday was our brother."

For a decade after Bashir came to power in an
Islamist-backed military coup in 1989, Sudan became a
notorious refuge for militant Islamists, including bin Laden,
who was based in Khartoum between 1991 and 1996, where he ran
a thriving construction business and built mujahideen training
camps.

As a result, Sudan was accused of sponsoring terrorism
and remains blacklisted by the US government.

But it insists that it no longer supporters Islamist
groups and Washington has promised to remove Khartoum from the
list after it allowed January`s referendum on southern
independence to take place and accepted the results.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 10:02

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