Syria's Nusra Front underlines Qaeda link in audio message

BEIRUT - The head of Syria's Nusra Front militant group mourned the death of al-Qaida's deputy leader in an audio message that underlined the organizations' close relationship and appeared to counter recent reports that it might split from the global network.
Nusra is al-Qaida's wing in Syria, but sources close to and in the organization told Reuters this year it was considering distancing itself from the parent group so that it could attract funding from a wider range of donors.
The audio message from Nusra's Abu Mohamad al-Golani, posted on YouTube overnight, mourned Nasser al-Wuhayshi who was killed in a US bombing in Yemen in June, urged his followers not to despair and advised his successor to be cautious.
Nusra is one of the most powerful forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an increasingly complex conflict.
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