Tags: Report: | Bin | Laden | Has | Left | Afghanistan

Report: Bin Laden Has Left Afghanistan

Friday, 21 September 2001 12:00 AM

The report in Pakistan's daily 'The News' quoted Taliban sources in Pakistan as saying that bin Laden departed Afghanistan on Monday, before the meeting of Islamic clerics in Kabul. "Osama has left Afghanistan four days ago and is no longer in the country," the sources said.

On Thursday, the Islamic clerics urged bin Laden to voluntarily leave the country, Taliban leaders have refused to force him out.

The News quoted Taliban sources as saying that bin Laden may be hiding out somewhere in Lebanon or the remote mountainous region of Chechnya.

The paper quoted a loyal Afghan friend of Osama as saying that "Shiekh" (Osama) was in good health and surrounded by the Arab youngsters, who had given the pledge to Osama to sacrifice their lives in pursuit of his defense.

The paper, however, admitted that it could not confirm its report from the Taliban leadership but said that informed sources among the Taliban ranks did not deny his departure.

Another Pakistani daily "Dawn", reported last week that Osama took an oath of allegiance from 500 of his Arab supporters in Kabul before shifting to some undisclosed destination. He supposedly left Afghanistan on horseback, surrounded by his bodyguards.

Even if bin Laden has left Afghanistan, President Bush has made it clear he will not distinguish between the terrorists and the nations that sponsor them. In his Thursday night speech to a joint session of Congress, President Bush declared war on Al Qaida, bin Laden's terrorist network.

"Hand over the terrorists or share their fate," he warned. He said the demand was not open to negotiations or discussion.

The Taliban remains unmoved. Press reports quote the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, as saying, "This is not possible. There is no change in our stand toward Osama bin Laden. Handing him over to the United States or forcing him out of the Afghanistan is an insult to Islam and Shariat (Islamic law)."

Copyright 2001

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The report in Pakistan's daily 'The News' quoted Taliban sources in Pakistan as saying that bin Laden departed Afghanistan on Monday, before the meeting of Islamic clerics in Kabul. Osama has left Afghanistan four days ago and is no longer in the country, the sources...
Report:,Bin,Laden,Has,Left,Afghanistan
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2001-00-21
Friday, 21 September 2001 12:00 AM
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