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Osama is alive and safe: Taliban commander
September 27, 2006 14:13 IST
A top Taliban military commander has claimed that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is alive and hinted that an audio tape may be circulated to prove the same.
"There is no truth in reports in the French media that bin Laden died from typhoid in Pakistan in August. Shaikh Osama is alright. He is safe," Mulla Dadullah Akhund said.
Dadullah has also issued statements in the past to the effect that bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar are alive.
When pressed for evidence which may indicate that bin Laden is alive, Dadullah hinted that a tape may be sent to media organizations to prove that the al-Qaeda leader is not dead.
Osama's audiotape was last circulated in July. In it, he had eulogised the sacrifices of al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and described him as a martyr. He demanded that Zarqawi's body be handed over to his family for burial in Jordan.
The renewed interest in bin Laden's fate has been triggered by a report in a French regional newspaper that the al-Qaeda leader had died from a serious bout of typhoid in Pakistan on August 23.
President Pervez Musharraf in his just released book In the Line of Fire has suggested that the most likely place for bin Laden to hide would be Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province but was quick to add that "we cannot be sure."