'Osama is hiding in Wazirstan'

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Washington, May 7: If an American journalist is to be believed, al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is hiding in Waziristan, somewhere near the city of Miram Shah. He also claimed that Osama enjoyed such a clout among the tribals there that the Pakistan Police doesn't even dare to enter the region.

Steve Coll, the American journo who recently authored a book on Bin Laden family, said that he was "firmly convinced" that Laden was "on Pakistani soil." "I would even venture to say where in the mountainous region of North Waziristan, near the city of Miram Shah . . . Pakistan's army doesn't dare enter the region," the Daily Times quoted Coll as telling a German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. Coll further said that Osama probably moved from place to place, protected by friends, but that someone could well betray him "one of these days".

This is not the first time that an American has expressed apprehension that Osama was hiding on Pakistani soil. Last year, a top American intelligence official had claimed to be in possession of enough evidence supporting Osama's presence in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell had made the assertion about bin Laden and his No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Referring to Pakistan's rugged tribal area, McConnell had said that "to the best of our knowledge that the senior leadership, No. 1 and No. 2, are there, and they are attempting to re-establish and rebuild and to establish training camps."

ANI

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