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France says bin Laden tape appears authentic

PARIS (AP) - The French Foreign Ministry says a purported tape of Osama bin Laden threatening France appears to be the real thing.

The voice in the audio tape threatens to kill French citizens to avenge their country's support for the war in Afghanistan and for a new law that will ban burqa-like Muslim veils. The audiotape was obtained by television station Al-Jazeera.

The Foreign Foreign Ministry says the tape's "authenticity can be considered established based on initial verifications."

There are about 4,000 French troops deployed in and near Afghanistan. France has passed a law that will ban the wearing of face-covering burqa-style Muslim veils in public starting in April.

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