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Bin Laden detected by US intelligence in Tora Bora

Bin Laden detected by US intelligence in Tora Bora

Author: Agencies
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: December 13, 2001

Washington, December 12: US intelligence services believe they have detected Osama bin Laden and members of his inner circle in Afghanistan's mountainous Tora Bora region, a US government official said.

US forces dropped their largest conventional bomb - a 7.5-tonne (15,000-pound) "daisy cutter" -- on a cave in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend in hopes of killing senior al-Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, according to the Pentagon.

"There were some indications that bin Laden was in the area when the daisy cutter was dropped," the government official told AFP. The official, who insisted on anonymity, said the anti-Taliban fighters in the Tora Bora region had been successful in confining al Qaeda fighters to "an increasingly smaller region".

ABC news reported that in addition to causing mass destruction, the bomb blast had sparked a series of panicked radio and satellite calls among al Qaeda members. Those communications provided confirmation that the Saudi-born dissident and his entourage remain in the region, the network said.

According to ABC news, US forces are now using aerial surveillance to track several groups of al Qaeda fighters as they attempt to flee the area. The network quoted intelligence sources as saying bin Laden is believed to be with them. The US government official refused to confirm or deny this part of the report.

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