A pamphlet purportedly from Osama bin Laden circulated among border tribesmen Sunday, with the al-Qaida chief praying for the assassination of Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, and calling him a "slave" of US President George W. Bush.
While the statement's authenticity was unclear, its initial release Saturday follows a spurt of high-profile militant messages and highlights simmering tensions between Pakistani forces and the insurgents they are battling along the Pakistan-Afghan border.
The pamphlet was distributed by militants in Mir Ali, a town in the North Waziristan tribal region, and reached out to tribesmen living in the area whose homes were destroyed during recent Pakistani military operations for "American pleasure."
It begins with a paragraph in Arabic mentioning bin Laden's name. It then says in Urdu, Pakistan's primary language: "(A) new message by Sheikh Osama bin Mohammed bin Laden to Muslims about the atrocities by the Pakistani army on the tribes of Waziristan, the bloodshed and destruction of their homes."
"I pray to God ... that Bush, Pervez and his army meet the fate that they deserve, and give someone among the lions of God the opportunity to kill this slave of Bush in Pakistan," said the pamphlet, the authenticity of which could not be immediately verified.
Pakistan's army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, declined to comment on the statement's authenticity, but urged the media not to "spread" it.