Musharraf: Osama Bin Laden Is Likely Dead
Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf said on Friday that he thinks Osama bin Laden is likely to be dead, since he has not been able to get treatment for his kidney disease.
"I think now, frankly, he is dead," Musharraf said in an interview with CNN, "for the reason he is a patient, he is a kidney patient. We know that he donated two dialysis machines into Afghanistan. One was specifically for his own personal use”. "I don't know if he has been getting all that treatment in Afghanistan now. And the photographs that have been shown of him on television show him extremely weak. ... I would give the first priority that he is dead and the second priority that he is alive somewhere in Afghanistan."
Commander of U.S. forces in the region, General Tommy Franks stated on Friday that he had seen "no intelligence" to confirm or deny the Pakistani President’s remarks on bin Laden's condition.
Other U.S. officials contradicted the reports of Bin Laden's health problems, pointing out that there is "no evidence" that the leader of Al Qaeda network has ever suffered kidney failure or required kidney dialysis. The officials called such remarks a "recurrent rumor.”
Late last month, the Pakistan Observer reported Osama bin Ladin died a peaceful, natural death in mid-December in the vicinity of Tora Bora mountains. A Taliban leader who attended funeral of the Saudi dissident conveyed this information to the Pakistani daily to. According to this source, the late Osama bin Ladin was suffering from some serious lung complication and succumbed to the disease for lack of proper treatment. The source claimed that Bin Laden was laid to rest in his last abode and his grave was leveled even as per his Wahabi beliefs.
About thirty close associates of Bin Laden in Al-Qaeda including his most trusted and personal bodyguards, his family members and some "Taliban friends" attended the funeral rites. A volley of bullets were also fired to pay final tributes to the "great leader". The source claims to have seen Osama's face before the burial: "he looked pale but calm, relaxed and confident". (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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