Pentagon Denies Osama Capture
Pentagon and Pakistani officials on Saturday denied an Iranian state radio report that Osama bin Laden was captured in Pakistan’s border region with Afghanistan “a long time ago.”
The claim came as Pakistan’s army hunted terror suspects in a remote tribal region along the border, believed to be a possible hiding place for the al-Qaida’s leader.
The director of Iran radio’s Pashtun language service, Asheq Hossein, said the report was based on two sources Ã¢€” one of whom later told The Associated Press he was misquoted.
The report said bin Laden had been in custody for a period of time, but that President Bush was withholding any announcement until closer to November elections.
“Osama bin Laden has been arrested a long time ago, but Bush is intending to use it for propaganda maneuvering in the presidential election,” the radio report said.
Pakistani officials have denied knowing bin Laden’s exact whereabouts, although there have been reports that military forces believe they know his general location and had him encircled.