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U-S Envoy Says Pakistan Will Capture Escaping al-Qaida Members - 2001-12-18


The U-S envoy to Afghanistan, James Dobbins, says he is confident Pakistani authorities will capture al-Qaida members who are fleeing their mountain hideouts.

Mr. Dobbins told reporters in Islamabad that reinforced patrols along the border with Afghanistan will try to intercept any escaping al-Qaida members.

He says the Pakistani border with Afghanistan is a mountain range, and he thinks the passes are sealed. He says he does not think it is possible to prevent individuals from crossing the border, but that it is possible to apprehend them once they have done so.

He held talks in the Pakistani capital after arriving from Kabul, where he re-opened the U-S diplomatic mission on Monday.

The whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and other members of his al-Qaida terrorist network remain unknown. The possible escape route for the Saudi fugitive and his associates would be a difficult route over frozen mountain passes into Pakistan.

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