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What happened to bin Laden in the Quake?

October 10, 2005 09:22 IST
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No evidence suggests that the deadly earthquake that rocked Pakistan injured or killed the world's top terror leader, Osama bin Laden.

The quake shook the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where bin Laden is believed to be hiding. However, authorities at this point have no information indicating he's been injured or killed, said a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the information's sensitivity.

US hopes for bin Laden's death or capture were high in December 2001, when US and Afghan troops surrounded a cave complex sheltering al Qaeda members in Afghanistan's Tora Bora region. But bin Laden escaped and is now believed to be living a relatively isolated existence to evade capture.

He was last seen publicly on a videotaped message before the November 2004 elections.

The public face of al Qaeda has become a bin Laden mentor, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the organisation's leader in Iraq. He has declared war on Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority and, with other Sunni-led insurgent groups, has recently launched a wave of violence that has killed hundreds of people.

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