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Bin Laden in Pakistan: Report

A privately-owned channel in Pakistan said the Al-Qaeda leader has entered Pakistan from Afghanistan.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 16:31 IST

The latest news on the whereabouts of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is that he is supposed to have entered Pakistan from Afghanistan.

Daily Times quoted the privately owned Geo Television as saying that bin Laden has come with some other militants.

Geo Television cited an unidentified US television network that claimed unnamed Pakistani officials had confirmed his presence after tapping a telephone call made by him, said Geo.

However, Pakistan Army spokesman Maj General Shaukat Sultan rejected the US television's report, emphasising that no government department would ever share that kind of sensitive information with the media.

As per US media reports, bin Laden was in Pakistan at least twice since 9/11 and the ouster of the Taliban regime that he supported. According to one such report, he was in a hospital in Faisalabad for urgent blood transfusion.

He made good his escape before the US intelligence came to know. The latter, however, took up the matter seriously with their Pakistani counterparts.

US media reports have repeatedly said bin Laden and his supporters move between the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, operating without the use of satellite phones to avoid detection, and are sheltered by local tribals.

President Pervez Musharraf, often asked about bin Laden's presence while on tours abroad, used to deny it speculating that the Al-Qaeda leader was probably dead.

More recently, he has said that bin Laden is around, but not in Pakistani territory.