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'Osama probably buried in Pak mountains'

world Updated: Aug 16, 2010 08:41 IST

A top US General has said Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is probably hiding in the remote mountainous regions of Pakistan, even though no one known where he actually is.

"I think he remains an iconic figure, and I think capturing or killing Osama bin Laden is still a very, very important task for all of those who are engaged in counter terrorism around the world," General David Petraeus Commander of US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan told NBC television's "Meet the Press" when asked about the Al Qaeda leader's whereabouts.

The top American General said, "I don't think anyone knows where Osama bin Laden is. The fact that it took him four weeks to get a congratulatory message out, or a message of condolence in, say, in the course of the last year or so when we've seen these, indicates, literally, how far buried he is probably in the very, very most remote and mountainous regions".

In the interview, that was recorded in Kabul on Friday and aired in the US on Sunday, Petraeus said that there is unlikely to be any possibility of peace talks with Mullah Omar – the Taliban leader.

"But (there is) every possibility, that there can be low and mid-level reintegration and, indeed, some fracturing of the senior leadership that could be really defined as reconciliation," he said in response to a question.

Petraeus said US is not facing some kind of a monolithic Taliban enemy in the region, but it is a syndicate of terrorist outfits.

"What we face is not some kind of monolithic Taliban enemy. In fact, it's more like a syndicate, is the term that we often use for the enemy that faces our troopers and our Afghan counterparts; and the Afghan civilians," he said.

"But what we face generally, of course, is, again, in the southern part of the country, this is the Taliban, the Afghan Taliban. Then, as you work your way up into the eastern part, you start to get the Haqqani network linked to the Taliban.

Again, it has a symbiotic relationship with them.

But it is not subservient, one to the other," he said.