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Bush: U-S at War, Osama bin Laden a Prime Suspect - 2001-09-16


President Bush says the United States is at war and Saudi exile Osama bin Laden is a prime suspect in Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

Mr. Bush said Saturday the United States will take sweeping and sustained action against those responsible and he urged the American people to be patient during what he said would be a long and difficult conflict.

Pakistan agreed Saturday to cooperate with the United States in responding to the attacks. Washington wants access to airspace over Pakistan, which neighbors Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding.

In another development, Iran closed its borders with Afghanistan to prevent an influx of Afghan refugees in the event of an American strike on Afghanistan.

Back in Washington, the U-S Justice Department said the investigation is moving forward, with the issuance of a second arrest warrant for a material witness.

Across the United States, church bells tolled as funerals were held Saturday for the first of thousands of victims of the terrorist attacks. Authorities at the World Trade Center say nearly five-thousand people from countries from around the world as well as the United States (4,972) are missing. Defense Department officials say 188 people died when a hijacked passenger jet crashed into the Pentagon, just outside Washington.

Top Bush administration officials plan to meet with U-S airline executives early next week to discuss the aviation sector's financial troubles following the attacks.

U-S air transportation continues to return to normal, meanwhile, with only one major U-S airport remaining closed -- Washington's Reagan National Airport.

Monday, U-S stock markets are to resume trading after a rare four day shutdown forced by the terrorist actions.

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