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Bush Warns Taleban Time is Running Out - 2001-10-06


President Bush has bluntly warned Afghanistan's ruling Taleban that time is running out to turn over suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

In his weekly radio address Saturday, Mr. Bush said the Taleban has been given the opportunity to surrender all terrorists in Afghanistan and to close down their camps and operations. He said full warning has been given.

The president's warning comes as the United States and Britain appear to be making final military and diplomatic preparations for attacks in response to last month's terrorist strikes in New York and Washington.

The White House also rejected a Taleban offer to release eight foreign aid workers, including U-S citizens, if Washington stops threatening the fundamentalist Islamist movement.

The White House says Mr. Bush will not negotiate with the Taleban. Mr. Bush wants the immediate release of the employees of German-based relief agency Shelter Now, who have been detained for two months. They are being tried on charges of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. The workers deny the charges.

The Taleban has announced its spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has ordered the release of a British journalist who was detained late last month for entering Afghanistan illegally. A Taleban spokesman says Yvonne Ridley will be freed by Sunday.

Mr. Bush held talks Saturday with his national security team as he continues planning the response to September 11th's terrorist attacks.

Earlier Saturday British Prime Minister Tony Blair said international pressure on the Taleban will not stop until those who carried out last month's attacks are brought to justice. He spoke in India as he wrapped up a whirlwind three nation tour that also included Russia and Pakistan.

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