Taliban statement mourns al-Zarqawi death

A written statement purportedly from supreme Taliban leader Mullah Omar on Friday mourned the death of the al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and vowed to keep fighting in Afghanistan. Omar was "deeply sad over the martyrdom of Abu Masab al-Zarqawi" but his death would not weaken the resistance in Iraq, "as it is the people's resistance and every youth can become al-Zarqawi," the Pashto-language statement said. "I want to assure the Muslims across the world that we will not stop our struggle against crusaders in Afghanistan," Omar was quoted as saying. The authenticity of the statement could not be confirmed. It was forwarded to an Associated Press reporter in Pakistan by e-mail from Dr. Mohammed Hanif, who claims to speak on behalf of the Taliban. His exact ties to the hardline militia's leadership is unclear.