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Karzai: Osama bin Laden Probably Dead, Mullah Omar Alive - 2002-10-07


Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai says al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is probably dead, but former Taleban ruler Mullah Omar is alive -- although coalition forces have come close to catching him.

Mr. Karzai told C-N-N television Sunday that the more time goes by without hearing from Osama bin Laden, the more he believes he is probably dead or seriously wounded.

The Afghan president said he wants the United States to continue to help stabilize his country -- despite the new focus on Iraq in the war on terrorism. Mr. Karzai said he wants a systematic, concerted effort on Afghanistan to finish the job in stamping out terrorism and radicalism, and reconstructing the nation.

Mr. Karzai spoke on the eve of the anniversary of the October Seventh start of the U-S-led military operation to oust Afghanistan's Taleban rulers and hunt down al-Qaida terrorists.

In Kabul, Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah echoed Mr. Karzai's remarks, saying the international community should continue to help Afghanistan to further stabilize the nation.

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