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Bin Laden 'far buried' in remote region: Petraeus

General David Petraeus said today Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is "far buried" in the remote mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan but capturing the "iconic figure" remains a key task.

world Updated: Aug 15, 2010 21:30 IST

General David Petraeus said on Sunday Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is "far buried" in the remote mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan but capturing the "iconic figure" remains a key task.

"I don't think anyone knows where Osama bin Laden is," the head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan told NBC television's "Meet the Press" when asked about the Al-Qaeda leader's whereabouts.

"The fact that it took him four weeks to get a congratulatory message out or a message of condolence... indicates literally how far buried he is probably in the very, very most remote and mountainous region."

Petraeus appeared to be referring to a January 25 message by Bin Laden congratulating a young Nigerian for a failed attempt to blow up a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

Despite the difficulty in locating him, Petraeus said Bin Laden "remains an iconic figure and I think capturing or killing (him) is still a very, very important task for all of those who are engaged in counter-terrorism around the world."