Osama may have fled Afghanistan

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Report: Osama may have fled Afghanistan


NEW DELHI, India, Sept. 20 (UPI) -

The prime suspect in last Tuesday's terror attacks on New York and Washington, Osama bin Laden, may have fled Afghanistan four days ago, India's leading news Web site rediff.com reported Thursday.

"The bird has flown," a highly placed source in Pakistan told the Web site. "They (the ulema) officially asked him to leave today, but he had left four days ago," the unnamed official was quoted as saying.

Intelligence sources say that bin Laden may have joined thousands of Afghanis who have gathered along the Pakistan border in an effort to cross the border before a possible attack on Afghanistan by the United States.

Although both Iran and Pakistan have officially sealed their borders with Afghanistan, it would not be difficult for bin Laden to sneak across the border. Dawn, a Pakistani daily, had earlier reported that bin Laden on Sunday took an oath of allegiance from 500 of his Arab supporters in Kabul before disappearing on horseback for a place that may not be motorable.

The Sept. 11 attacks are believed to have killed more than 5,000 people and destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and a part of the Pentagon near Washington.


Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

-- PHO (owennos@bigfoot.com), September 20, 2001

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