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Us disputes report { March 7 2003 }

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U.S. Disputes Report on bin Laden's Sons

The Associated Press
Friday, March 7, 2003; 11:59 AM

A top provincial official said Friday that seven al-Qaida members were killed in an operation in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border and that two sons of Osama bin Laden may been wounded in the raid. U.S. officials disputed his claim that the bin Laden sons were captured.

Sanaullah Zehri, who as home minister of Baluchistan province is the top security official, announced the capture of two of bin Laden's sons on the privately owned Geo television and to The Associated Press in an interview. His claim was not confirmed by other Pakistani officials and was disputed by U.S. counterterrorism officials.

Zehri said the raid was carried out by "allied forces" including U.S. troops in an area of Afghanistan where the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan converge.

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-Qaida leader is believed to have up to 23 sons by several wives.

"They were arrested from Rabat area in Afghanistan," Zehri said from his home in Quetta, the Baluchistan provincial capital. The brothers were captured in the Rabat region in the extreme southwest of Afghanistan's Nimroz province where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet.

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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