Iran Radio: Bin Laden Hiding in Central Afghanistan
Osama bin Laden is hiding in the central Afghan province of Oruzgan, Iranian radio reported Saturday, citing sources close to Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia.
Bin Laden, the key suspect in last week's terrorist attacks in the United States, "has just hidden in this province and only a few Taliban leaders are aware of it," the radio said without providing further details.
Afghan Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Mutawakel said earlier he was unaware of Bin Laden having left Afghanistan before or after an Islamic clerics' resolution that he be asked to do so.
"I have not heard any report that he has left Afghanistan," the minister told AFP.
He was the most senior Taliban official to comment on Bin Laden's whereabouts since Thursday, when Afghan Islamic scholars adopted a resolution recommending the Taliban persuade Bin Laden to leave.
"The Islamic Emirate has listened to the resolution of the ulema [scholars] and, as usual, paid it the utmost respect," Mutawakel said.
But he said he did not know if the resolution had been passed on to Bin Laden.
A spokesman for the Taliban's supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar said earlier he had no idea whether the Saudi-born militant was still in the country.
Bin Laden has been based in or around the Taliban's stronghold in the southern city of Kandahar since 1996, but there has been speculation he may have slipped out of the country earlier this week -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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