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This image shows rebels from al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra waving their brigade flag on the top of a Syrian air force helicopter in Idlib province, northern Syria. Arabic on the flag reads, "There is no God only God and Mohamad his prophet, Jabhat al-Nusra." (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN, File)

Iraqi al-Qaida and Syria militants announce merger

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BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida's branch in Iraq said it has merged with Syria's extremist Jabhat al-Nusra, a move that shows the rising confidence of radicals within the Syrian rebel movement and is likely to trigger renewed fears among its international backers.

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