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Bin Laden hiding in Pakistan's Hindu Kush mountains: Report
March 15, 2009 19:23 IST
The United States is said to have tracked down the world's most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden [Images], in the impenetrable Hindu Kush mountains in Pakistan's scenic Chitral region, according to a media report.
America won't say it officially, but the world's biggest manhunt for bin Laden who murdered nearly 3,000 people on 9/11 has zeroed in on Chitral's stunning peaks and valleys, the New York Daily News reported.
The region has been sealed off to outsiders and is now regularly buzzed by American spy drones, it said. Six US and foreign officials have also confirmed that the Hindu Kush mountains in the Chitral region have been eyed as bin Laden's hideout since 2006 by Osama hunters aiming for the big kill.
A lengthy review of evidence, including recent Predator fly-bys, bin Laden's tapes since 9/11 and interviews with three dozen experts on al Qaeda, Pakistan and special operations, point to these vast mountains as Osama's likely haven, the report said.
Two senior foreign officials said the nearby town of Kalam also is suspect. In fact, drones were first spotted spying on Chitral last summer and were seen again as recently as February 2. It is so far from US-run airfields that drone sorties are limited to just a few hours due to fuelling issues, the report said. Moreover, Islamic militancy is taking root in several Chitrali valleys leading to Afghan border, prompting Pakistan to decree them off-limits to foreigners, local sources said, reinforcing the suspicion Osama is nearby.