US President George W. Bush on Friday called it preposterous to question the authenticity of a videotape showing Osama bin Laden laughing about the Sept. 11 attacks, and said bluntly he wanted bin Laden: ``Dead or alive, either way.'' ``I don't care. Dead or alive, either way. It doesn't matter to me,'' Bush said during a picture-taking session with visiting Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Meanwhile, on the ground, U.S. commanders believe they are quickly narrowing Osama bin Laden's options for escape from the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Yet even as U.S.-backed tribal forces advance in the rugged Tora Bora region, no one seems certain whether bin Laden is even there.
``The honest answer is we really don't know,'' Gen. Tommy Franks, the U.S. war commander, said Friday. According to AP, if bin Laden is still there, he has little room to maneuver.
It should be noted that a top Afghan commander claimed Friday to have located and surrounded a cave in which he believed Osama bin Laden could be hiding.
According to AP, eastern alliance defense chief Hazrat Ali added his fighters had surrounded a large number of bin Laden's al-Qaida guerrillas on a mountain ridge in the Tora Bora area in eastern Afghanistan - near to the cave.
Ali did not explain why he thought bin Laden might be inside the cave, one of several in a gorge where his tribesmen were fighting al-Qaida forces amid heavy U.S. aerial bombing. (albawaba.com)
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