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SLUG: 2-280940 Attacks / Afghanistan (L)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=09/24/01

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-280940

TITLE=ATTACKS / AFGHANISTAN (L)

BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE

DATELINE= ISLAMABAD

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: The Taleban supreme leader in Afghanistan is demanding that the

United States withdraw its forces from the Persian Gulf and end what he

describes as its "bias" against Palestinians if it wants to end terrorism.

The statement came as President Bush froze financial assets believed to

belong to alleged terrorist Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaida group. V-O-A's

Jim Teeple reports from Islamabad a three-member team from the U.S. Defense

Department is in the Pakistani capital to brief senior Pakistani leaders

about how the largest U-S military buildup since the 1991 Gulf War is proceeding.

TEXT: In a statement from Taleban headquarters in Kandahar, Mullah

Mohammed Omar, the Taleban supreme leader says the United States wants to

eliminate Islam and install a pro-American government in Afghanistan.

Mullah Omar says the United States will not solve its problems if it kills

alleged terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

President Bush says the Saudi fugitive and members of his al-Qaida

organization are the "prime suspects" in the terrorist attacks that killed

more than six thousand people in the United States. U.S. officials also say

any military retaliation should not be seen as an attack against either

Islam or the Afghan people.

The Taleban Defense Minister on Monday said 300-thousand experienced and

well-equipped fighters have volunteered to fight a "jihad" or holy war if

the United States invades Afghanistan. He says the volunteers are taking up

positions all over the country and will augment the Taleban armed forces,

thought to number about 45-thousand troops.

The Taleban Ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaaef, says the Taleban is

looking for Osama Bin Laden but does not know where he is. Ambassador Zaaef

says Mullah Omar has agreed to ask the Saudi fugitive to leave Afghanistan

voluntarily. The Ambassador also says the Taleban would welcome any proof

of Osama Bin Laden's involvement in the terrorist attacks.

// PASHTO ACT.. UP AND UNDER ...///

Ambassador Zaaef said providing proof Osama Bin Laden's involvement in

terrorism could solve the crisis peacefully. He also says the Taleban do

not support terrorism and that Muslim countries should work to end the

crisis.

U-S officials say they plan to release to the public evidence linking Mr. Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network to the terror attacks in New York and Washington.

Meanwhile Pakistan citing security concerns confirmed on Monday that it has

withdrawn all staff from its embassy in Kabul. Pakistani officials say all

twelve embassy staff members were withdrawn several days ago, but that

Islamabad will not cut diplomatic ties with the Taleban as the United Arab Emirates did on Saturday.

/// REST OPT (EDS: SEE SEPARATE CR BY GUL ON THIS DELEGATION) ///

In another development, a senior U.S. military delegation led by a two star General is in Pakistan to brief Pakistani officials about the status of the U.S. military buildup in the region - the largest since the 1991 Gulf War. Pakistan has pledged to support the U.S. efforts against terrorism. (Signed)

NEB/JLT/KBK



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