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Afghan Insurgent Leader: Fighters Helped Bin Laden Escape January 11, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP)–Afghan insurgent leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar claimed in a rare interview with Pakistani television, broadcast Thursday, that his fighters helped al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden escape intense U.S. bombardment and a hunt in eastern Afghan mountains five years ago.

Hekmatyar, a former Afghan prime minister and leader of the Hezb-e-Islami militant group, told the private Geo TV network that when the U.S. began its assault on the Tora Bora mountains in late 2001, some of his fighters moved bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and other associates to “a safe place” where he met them later.

He did not say where they found the shelter.

Hekmatyar was speaking in Pashto language. Only fragments from Hekmatyar’s comments were audible under a voiceover translated into Urdu, Pakistan’s main language. Geo did not disclose when or where the interview was made.


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