Wednesday, October 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Laden in Pamir

Islamabad, October 2
US commandos aided by the Russian intelligence are gearing up to mount a major assault on the Afghanistan’s Pamir mountain range, previously used as nuclear base by erstwhile Soviet Union, following reports that Osama bin Laden is hiding there along with a core group of his well-armed associates.

The assault move comes after numerous checks and counter-checks by US satellites backed by human intelligence found increasing evidence that Laden, prime suspect in the attacks in the USA, is hiding to the Pamir mountain range, media reports said here today.

The place is considered highly strategic as it has exit routes to three countries — Tajikistan, Pakistan and China.

Russians are fairly familiar with the mountain range where they used to store inter-continental ballistic missiles during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1980s, the daily ‘The News’ reported.

Hundreds of people can survive for years at the Pamir base.

“The residential quarters of the Laden’s base is buried under the mountains south of Sari Qul valley. An alternative fort is also set up there,” it said.

Quoting intelligence reports, the daily said Laden was staying at the hide-out with a core group of 200 top operatives of his outfit, Al-Qaida. More than 2,500 members of the network were reported “covering” the base with positions taken at key entry points. PTIBack


Palestinian state part of US vision: Bush

Washington, October 2
President George W. Bush today said the creation of a Palestinian state had always been part of the USA’s vision for West Asia, but it was vital to first reduce the violence in the region.

“The idea of a Palestinian state has always been a part of a vision, so long as the right of Israel to exist is respected,’’ Mr Bush told reporters after a meeting with congressional leaders.

He said the USA was working closely with Israel and the Palestinians to reduce violence and enable a return to the negotiating table to eventually hammer out a peace plan. Reuters

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