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Troops in Afghanistan cannot confirm Laden's death
Latest Updated by 2006-09-25 11:46:07
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The report about terrorist group al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's death "cannot be confirmed
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden(File Photo)

NATO and the U.S.-led coalition troops in Afghanistan could not confirm the widespread reports which said al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had died of illness, the military said on Sunday.

"About the reported death of Osama bin Laden, this is what we will say: coalition forces could not confirm the reports," Marcelo Calero, a coalition spokesman, told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, Maj. Luke Knittig, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), told a press conference here that "I have read the interesting reports about bin Laden's death, but I have no information about this issue."

On Saturday, a French regional newspaper, L'Est Republican, quoted a French secret service report as saying that Saudi Arabia is convinced that bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan last month.

The report, which is dated Sept. 21 and has been shown to French President Jacques Chirac, said, "According to a usually reliable source, the Saudi services are now convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead," according to L'Est Republican.

This has caused the media's wide attention to the current condition of bin Laden, who is believed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and is the United States' most wanted man with an award of 25 million U.S. dollars.

About 20,000 coalition forces are being deployed in eastern Afghanistan to hunt down al-Qaeda, Taliban and other anti-government militants there, while some 21,000 ISAF soldiers are staying in other regions to keep security and facilitate reconstruction.

Saudi-born bin Laden had been harbored in Afghanistan until the U.S.-led Afghan War toppled the Taliban regime in late 2001.

Since then, the al-Qaeda chief has been widely believed to hide in the mountainous border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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