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John Vause: Conflicting reports on bin Laden's location

Vause
CNN Correspondent John Vause  


KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Conflicting reports have been coming out of Afghanistan and Pakistan about Osama bin Laden's whereabouts. Afghan Defense Ministry official Mohamad Habeel said his government believes bin Laden is in Pakistan under the protection of Jamait Ulema-i-Islam, or JUI, a radical Islamic group. Maulana Fazalur Rehman, the head of the JUI party who has been in Pakistani government custody for three months, told CNN he has no idea where bin Laden is. CNN Correspondent John Vause added background information on the JUI party in a report he filed Thursday.

VAUSE: What we're getting here are reports from the news wires and the agencies. They are quoting a defense spokesman here in Kabul, a spokesman for the new interim defense. That spokesman, Mohamad Habeel, is claiming that Osama bin Laden is the guest of the leader of the JUI party in Afghanistan, a general by the name of Maulana Fazalur Rehman.

To put the JUI in some perspective, the JUI party organized some very large political pro-Taliban demonstrations that we saw in the very early stages of the U.S.-led bombing campaign in Afghanistan.

The JUI is a religious party with political ambitions, very pro-Taliban, and organizes all of the very large demonstrations across Pakistan -- which seemed to fizzle several weeks after the bombing campaign.

Now as far as the JUI is concerned, a spokesman for Mr. Rehman ... was contacted by our people in Pakistan [and] says the reports are a joke, nonsense, untrue.

He says, "I did not know where Osama bin Laden is. If you want it know, ask the new government in Afghanistan." We are trying to do that now. As I said, those agencies are quoting a spokesman of the new interim defense minister.

That's where we are at this stage. We have reports that people who are meant to be harboring bin Laden are denying they have anything to do with [it].



 
 
 
 



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