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Leader of Syrian militant group challenges rivals

February 25, 2014

CAIRO (AP) — The leader of a powerful al-Qaida-linked jihadi group in Syria has given a rival al-Qaida breakaway a five-day ultimatum to seek arbitration by leading clerics or be expelled from the region.

Abu Mohammed al-Golani, leader of the Nusra Front, warned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that it would be driven both from Syria and “even from Iraq” if it rejected the results of arbitration “under God’s law.”

The threat came in an audio message produced by the Nusra Front media arm al-Manara al-Baydha and posted on militant websites Tuesday.

Al-Golani’s ultimatum came two days after the killing of Abu Khaled al-Suri who acts as al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri’s representative in Syria. He was believed to be assassinated by two ISIL suicide bombers.

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