Rumors of OBL Death Put to Rest

Taliban leaders say reports saying Osama bin Laden is dead are inaccurate.

May 29, 2008— -- While the exact whereabouts of the al Qaeda leader remain a mystery, his supporters are saying today that Osama bin Laden is alive, despite press reports claiming a top Taliban leader announced his death.

A Pakistani newspaper earlier this week quoted top Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud as saying that bin Laden had passed. "The al Qaeda leader, Osama bin laden, is dead," said Mehsud, according to the Pakistan Daily newspaper. The report went on to say that a satellite television network had quoted a Taliban official as saying that bin Laden had died a quiet death after a serious lung complication.

Journalists who attended the press conference by Mehsud, however, say he never made a claim that bin Laden was dead. In addition, Pakistani and Afghan Taliban members are today echoing that bin Laden is alive and well. U.S. officials said earlier this week they did not consider the report of bin Laden's death credible.

Speculation continues over his exact whereabouts. The government of Afghanistan claims he is in the Chitral district of northern Pakistan, and a recent Arabic TV channel quoted unnamed sources saying he is near the K2 mountain in northern Pakistan.

For now, he remains on the FBI's most wanted list with a $25 million bounty on his head.

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