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Pakistani official confirms { March 7 2003 }

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Pakistan Official: Two of Bin Laden's Sons Captured
U.S. Officials Strongly Dispute Report

By Kathy Gannon
Associated Press Writer
Friday, March 7, 2003; 10:23 AM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- A Pakistani provincial minister announced Friday that two sons of Osama bin Laden were captured in southwestern Afghanistan in a joint operation involving Pakistani and U.S. forces. U.S. counterterrorism officials disputed the claim.

Seven other al-Qaeda men were killed in the operation in which Saad and Hamza bin Laden were captured in the Rabat region, Zehri said. He said the sons may have been injured in the operation.

Saad, believed to be 23 years old and bin Laden's eldest son, is also on the American most-wanted list and has been said to be a rising star in the terror network.

The Al Qaeda leader is believed to have up to 23 sons by several wives.

"They were arrested from Rabat area in Afghanistan," Zehri told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. Rabat is located in the extreme southwestern tip of Afghanistan where it borders Pakistan and Iran.

Zehri is the home minister -- in charge of security -- in Pakistan's Baluchistan province.

In Washington, U.S. counterterrorism officials strongly disputed the claim. They said they had no information that would suggest any of the sons had been detained.

A U.S. official told an AP Radio reporter at the White House: "We, in fact, think it's wrong."

2003 The Associated Press

Binladen rumors snowball { March 8 2003 }
Binladens sons at large { March 8 2003 }
Captured in gun battle
Iran says it held son { November 4 2002 }
Pakistani official confirms { March 7 2003 }
Plays key role in al qaeda { October 14 2003 }
Son detained iran allegedly captured hundreds { November 3 2002 }
Sons shot captured { March 9 2003 }
Us cannot confirm reports
Us disputes report { March 7 2003 }

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