A rebel fighter fires towards pro-regime forces during clashes in Sheikh Najar area of the restive Syrian city of Aleppo on February 25, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/ALEPPO MEDIA CENTRE/FADI AL-HALABI)
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The leader of a powerful Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria gave a rival breakaway group a five-day ultimatum to accept mediation by leading preachers to end infighting or be "expelled" from the region.The ultimatum, announced in an audio recording by the leader of the Nusra Front, aims to end months of deadly violence between the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and other Islamist factions. It comes two days after the killing of Abu Khaled al-Suri, who had acted as Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri's representative in Syria. Zawahri has named the Nusra Front Al-Qaeda's branch in Syria and broken ties with ISIS, which has increasingly clashed with rebel brigades in opposition-held areas of Syria.More than 2,000 people have been killed in the fighting between ISIS and rebel groups, including the Nusra Front. Suri, a friend of the late Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, had been appointed by Zawahri to mediate between Nusra and ISIS.
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