Al-Qaeda militant group chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri has called the Islamic State(ISIS) and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, "liars", according to an audio message released Thursday(Jan. 5).
In the message which was released by Al-Qaeda's media arm and translated by the U.S. based watchdog, Zawahiri has rejected the recent allegations made by the ISIS that Al-Qaeda opposes attacks on Shias and was prepared to partner with Christian leaders.
"The liars insist upon their falsehood, to the extent that they claimed we do not denounce Shiites," al-Zawahiri said, quoted by IBTimes.
He also said he did not advocate sparing Shia Muslims from attacks, but had suggested that attacks should mainly focus on Shia-led Iraqi forces in place of some random civilians.
"I had told them several times to stop explosions in markets, husseiniyats [Shia places of worships] and mosques, and to concentrate on military, security and police forces and Shiite militiamen," the translation by SITE, reported by Agence France Press, quoted him as saying.
Al-Zawahiri also denied ISIS allegations that he had said Christians could be partners in the governance of a future Islamic caliphate. "What I have said is that they are partners in the land, such as agriculture, trade, and money, and we keep their privacy in it, in accordance with the laws of our Sharia," he said.
Al-Qaeda has been struggling to revive its position following the elimination of their former leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, however, the new audio message from their current Egyptian leader, is yet another testimony to the prevailing competition between the two major jihadi groups in the world.