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'Bin Laden tape' raises climate alarm

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has expressed concern about an increase in natural disasters and called for greater efforts to help flood-stricken Pakistan in an audio message aired on the Internet, reports say.

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AFP - Osama bin Laden has expressed concern about global climate change and flooding in Pakistan, in an audiotape aired on the Internet, his first public remarks since March, a monitoring group said Friday.

"The number of victims caused by climate change is very big... bigger than the victims of wars," said the voice, whose authenticity could not be immediately verified and made available by SITE Intelligence Group.

The tape would be the first time Bin Laden has spoken publicly since March 25.

It was not clear when the tape was made, but bin Laden congratulated Muslims on the September 10 end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

"The catastrophe (in Pakistan) is very big and it is difficult to describe it," he said.

"What we are facing... calls for generous souls and brave men to take serious and prompt action to provide relief for their Muslim brothers in Pakistan."

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