Afghan Taliban say insufficient evidence bin Laden is dead

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 22:35

Kabul: The Afghan Taliban said on Tuesday they had not seen sufficient evidence yet to convince them that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead, their first comment since US officials said the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks was killed in Pakistan.

"As the Americans did not provide any acceptable evidence to back up their claim, and as the other aides close to Osama bin Laden have not confirmed or denied the death ... therefore the Islamic Emirate consider any assertion premature," said a statement emailed to media by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

The statement said the Islamist group, which harbored bin Laden in southern Afghanistan before and immediately after the September 11 attacks, would not offer any comment until they had seen evidence from bin Laden`s aides.

President Barack Obama announced the killing of bin Laden, who was found in a compound in the military garrison town of Abottabad about 60 km (35 miles) north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

Bin Laden`s body was flown out of Pakistan after the raid by a small US strike team, taken to an aircraft carrier and buried somewhere in the north Arabian sea on Monday, US officials have said.

Washington has so far not released any photographs of bin Laden`s body or the burial, raising doubts in some Islamist forums about whether he was killed.

A US official told Reuters in Washington on Tuesday that the United States might release photos of the burial at sea.

Other Islamist groups were quick to denounce the killing of bin Laden, with many vowing to carry out attacks against Westerners to avenge his death.

But the Taliban had remained quiet until Tuesday, despite a relatively sophisticated media network they had developed over the past few years.

The once-media shy Taliban, who banned television and music when they ruled Afghanistan during the late 1990s, are usually quick to publicize their attacks, opinions or exploits.

Their long silence was seen by some analysts as another deliberate attempt by the Taliban to distance themselves from al Qaeda as they try to convince the international community their ambitions are only focused on Afghanistan.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 22:35

More from zeenews

 
comments powered by Disqus
Party Won Trends Swing
BJP 122 122 76
SHS 63 63 19
INC 42 42 -40
NCP 41 41 -21
MNS 1 1 -12
OTH 19 19 -22
Party wise Trends/Tally | Key Candidates | Vote Share
Constituency Wise Results Interactive Map
Party Won Trends Swing
BJP 47 47 43
INLD 19 19 -12
INC 15 15 -25
HJCBL 2 2 -4
OTH 7 7 -2
Party wise Trends/Tally | Key Candidates | Vote Share
Constituency Wise Results Interactive Map