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Musharraf says bin Laden trail gone cold
Updated: 2004-12-05 16:25

The search for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has gone cold and there is no indication of his whereabouts, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told the Washington Post in an interview published on Sunday.

Musharraf said Pakistani forces were still aggressively pursuing bin Laden but that recent security operations and interrogation had determined only that he was still alive.

"He is alive, but more than that, where he is, no, it'll be just a guess and it won't have much basis," Musharraf was quoted as saying in the interview.

Pressed about whether bin Laden's trail had gone cold, Musharraf told the Post: "Yes, if you mean we don't know, from that point of view, we don't know where he is."

Musharraf met on Saturday with US President George W. Bush, who praised his ally's efforts in the war on terrorism and the search for bin Laden, whose al Qaeda militant network carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

One of the most sensitive issues between the two countries is the unsuccessful three-year hunt along the Afghan-Pakistan border for the al Qaeda leader.

"The president has been a determined leader to bring to justice not only people like Osama bin Laden, but to bring to justice those who would inflict harm and pain on his own people," Bush said after their meeting in the Oval Office.

Musharraf told the Post the US-led coalition did not have enough troops in Afghanistan, which had left "voids". He said the United States and its allies needed to speed the training and expansion of the new Afghan army.

He also denied reports Pakistani troops were withdrawing from the south Waziristan border region, which is considered a possible hiding place for bin Laden.

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