KABUL, Afghanistan – President Hamid Karzai said Friday that Osama bin Laden wasn’t in Afghanistan, saying his government has no idea of his whereabouts.
“God knows where he is,” he said. “We don’t know. … He is not in Afghanistan.”
The comments come just days after Pakisani Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said the al-Qaida leader wasn’t in Pakistan and could be hiding in southeastern Afghanistan.
U.S. officials have said they believe bin Laden to be hiding somewhere in rugged mountains between the two nations.
Also Friday, a purported Taliban spokesman reiterated a claim that a missing American commando was being interrogated by the Taliban and would soon be killed.
U.S. military spokeswoman Lt. Cindy Moore declined to comment on the latest claim that a
U.S. Navy SEAL commando has been captured, except to say that “we are continuing to search for him.”
The commando is the last of a four-member U.S. Navy SEAL team missing for 11 days in Kunar province, near the Pakistani border. One of the men was rescued and the other two have been found dead.
“Right now the interrogation is taking place of the American who is with us about the American strategy in Afghanistan,” Mullah Latif Hakimi said.
Hakimi’s information has in the past frequently proven exaggerated or untrue, and his exact tie to the Taliban leadership cannot be independently verified.
The claims follow an unprecedented spate of insurgent violence that has left about 700 people dead and threatened to sabotage three years of progress toward peace. Afghan officials insist the violence will not disrupt landmark legislative elections slated for September.