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Al-Qaida Military Commander Says Bush Lies - 2001-11-10


The military commander of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network is calling President Bush a liar for what he says is Mr. Bush's claim that the United States has smashed al-Qaida and the Taleban.

In a speech broadcast Friday by Qatari-based al-Jazeera television, Ayman al-Zawhari said the Taleban and al-Qaida forces are intact.

He says the U-S led airstrikes against terrorist targets in Afghanistan have killed 16-hundred civilians, including children and the elderly.

Mr. al-Zawhari said the Palestinian issue is al-Qaida's motive.

President Bush has never said the U-S led anti-terrorism campaign has destroyed the Taleban or the bin Laden network, but does say the airstrikes have made it more difficult for them to operate.

The Pentagon says it takes great care to avoid civilian casualties. It says Taleban greatly exaggerates the numbers of civilian deaths.

Also, Palestinian leaders have condemned terrorism and say it does not want Osama bin Laden working for the Palestinian cause.

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