A top Afghan intelligence official said Tuesday his agency received information several months ago that Al-Qaeda figurehead Osama bin Laden is hiding in northern Pakistan bordering Afghanistan.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that bin Laden was said to be in a mountainous region in Chitral, a Pakistani region facing Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar.
Pakistani officials have in the past said that the world’s most wanted man was hiding in Kunar, a claim strongly rejected by Kabul.
"We’ve received new information that he is hiding in Chitral. We got the information about his presence in that area about four, five months ago," the Afghan intelligence official said.
US authorities have previously also said that the fugitive Al-Qaeda chief had taken refuge in Chitral and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is also in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Thousands of US and NATO soldiers are based in Afghanistan hunting for the pair and fighting back an Al-Qaeda-backed insurgency the Taliban launched after they were ousted from government in 2001.
Al-Arabiya television reported last week that Pakistani sources had said US and Afghan officials had discussed launching military operations in Pakistan’s northern areas in light of information that bin Laden was there.
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This article was posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 5:23 pm