A published report says the world's number-one fugitive -- reputed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden -- was seen this past week in a heavily-fortified encampment about 60 kilometers from the Afghan city of Jalalabad.
The New York Times (newspaper) quotes a minister in a newly-formed provincial government as saying the fugitive was spotted near Tora Bora -- a village deep in the mountainous forests of Nangarhar province.
The minister, Hazarat Ali, says Osama bin laden is sleeping in caves and traveling at night on horseback. Mr. Ali's claims have not been independently verified.
Mr. Ali also said about two thousand foreign fighters armed with rifles, machine guns and surface-to-surface missiles were protecting the fugitive.
The report also quotes local anti-Taleban operatives as saying Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization al-Qaida paid each family in Tora Bora 50-dollars to vacate their village weeks ago.
The United States is offering a 25-million dollar reward for the capture or killing of Osama bin Laden -- who is accused of planning the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States.