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Archive for Monday, September 26, 2005

Pakistani officials say bin Laden is isolated

September 26, 2005

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— Osama bin Laden is hiding out with a small core of mainly Arab supporters, and the al-Qaida leader now only sends messages by courier because his communications network has been destroyed, senior Pakistani military and intelligence officials said Sunday.

There have been no fresh clues to bin Laden's whereabouts, but he generally is believed to be in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"In our opinion, the reports on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden are more speculative stories rather than based on accurate intelligence," said Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, chief spokesman for Pakistan's army.

Pakistan has deployed some 80,000 troops to its rugged border regions running along Afghanistan, fighting intense battles with al-Qaida-linked militants.

A Pakistani intelligence official in the northwestern city of Peshawar, near the Afghan border, said bin Laden probably is accompanied by "dozens" of mainly Arab supporters. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the secretive nature of his job.

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