Taleban Says Bin Laden Enjoys Good Health
Taleban officials have denied published reports that suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is dying from kidney failure, a London-based Islamic group was quoted by Reuters as saying late on Wednesday.
The Islamic Observation Center (IOC), a pressure group based in London, said in a statement received by Reuters that bin Laden, is not suffering from kidney failure and is enjoying good health.
"Bin Laden is moving freely in Afghanistan and is enjoying good health," the statement quoted Taleban officials, who had met bin Laden in southern Kabul, as saying. "He is however still forbidden from possessing any forms of communication or giving out any statements to the press."
The statement quoted the officials as saying that bin Laden, upon hearing the rumors, said the Western media as well as some of its Arab allies had spread such rumors in order to dishearten Moslems and bin Laden's followers.
Bin Laden "continues to practice his favorite hobby, horseback riding, and to train Afghans and Arabs living (in Afghanistan) in this sport," the IOC statement said.
In February London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat said bin Laden was suffering from serious kidney problems and had cut back his activities. In March Asiaweek, a newsmagazine published in Hong Kong, quoted a Western intelligence source as saying that bin Laden was dying but was still holding meetings and was "mostly conscious."
Bin Laden, who was stripped of his Saudi nationality, is accused of masterminding the 1998 US embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya that killed 224 people. He remains one of the most wanted men in the United States – (Agencies)
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