U-S B-52 bombers have resumed their attacks on Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida fighters in the Tora Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan.
The al-Qaida fighters failed to meet a Wednesday morning surrender deadline imposed by Afghan tribal commanders. The Afghan tribal forces known as the Eastern Alliance have set a new surrender deadline for Thursday morning, local time.
The Eastern Alliance says it also demands that al-Qaida turn over 22 senior officers wanted by the United States. The al-Qaida fighters reportedly rejected that demand and have also indicated they will surrender only to United Nations officials -- and only in the presence of Saudi diplomats.
Pentagon and Eastern Alliance officials have suggested that the surrender negotiations may be a ruse to give al-Qaida fighters time to flee the area.
U-S intelligence officials reportedly believe Osama bin Laden himself is in Tora Bora. However, the U-S-based Christian Science Monitor newspaper quotes a senior al-Qaida operative who says Mr. bin Laden fled to Pakistan 10 days ago.
The al-Qaida forces have been under relentless attack from tribal forces, American warplanes and U-S special forces since early this month.
Fighting in the region eased Tuesday after trapped al-Qaida members radioed an urgent request for a ceasefire to a local military commander, who agreed and also set the Wednesday surrender deadline.