Al Qaeda severs link with ISIL fighters in Syria

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Al-Qaeda has severed its link with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – a militant group fighting in Syria.

An online message, purportedly from al-Qaeda’s general command, said the group “does not have an organisational relationship with” ISIL and “is not responsible” for ISIL’s actions.

The move is being seen as an attempt to refocus the Islamist effort towards overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad.

Infighting between Syria’s rebel groups has been escalating. ISIL has fought battles with other Islamist insurgents and secular rebel groups – often triggered by disputes over territory.

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