Sun, Sep 03, 2006 - Page 4 News List

No real progress in hunt for bin Laden

WELL HIDDEN The leadership of al-Qaeda remains free despite more than 100,000 troops being posted at the Afghan-Pakistan frontier where they are believed to be


* Pakistan stepped up its military action in 2004 with a series of bloody operations in South Waziristan province. They busted al-Qaeda bases complete with computer and communications equipment.

* Also in 2004, Pakistan learned that either bin Laden or al-Zawahri was elsewhere in South Waziristan.

"An operation was carried out where we were close to getting him but the trail got cold," said Major General Shaukat Sultan, spokesman for President Pervez Musharraf.

* In the most recent case, in January, the CIA fired a missile from a Predator drone into the remote Pakistani village of Damadola, 250km northeast of Waziristan. The missile killed 13 civilians but no al-Qaeda leaders.

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