A Taliban Leader In Pakistan Says He Would Aid Bin Laden

A Taliban Leader In Pakistan Says He Would Aid Bin Laden
April 21st, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: A Taliban Leader In Pakistan Says He Would Aid Bin Laden

A Taliban Leader In Pakistan Says He Would Aid Bin Laden
New York Times
April 21, 2007
Pg. 6

By Carlotta Gall
KABUL, Afghanistan, April 20 — A Pakistani Taliban leader who has been waging a government-backed campaign to evict Central Asian militants from Pakistan’s tribal regions said Friday that he would give Osama bin Laden protection in his area if he sought it.
“Bin Laden has never come to this area, but if he comes here and seeks our protection, then according to tribal laws and customs we will protect him,” the Taliban commander, Mullah Muhammad Nazir, 32, said at a rare news conference in the city of Wana in the tribal region of South Waziristan.
“Our traditions and customs demand that we support the oppressed,” added Mr. Nazir, who was flanked by heavily armed men.
Al Qaeda’s top leaders, Mr. bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, are widely believed to be hiding somewhere in Pakistan’s seven tribal areas, which run along the Afghan border. Much of the area is mountainous and lawless, used by pro-Taliban militants to run training camps and mount crossborder insurgency operations into Afghanistan.
The Taliban commander, Mr. Nazir, is closely allied with an Afghan Taliban leader, Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, probably Al Qaeda’s strongest supporter in the tribal areas. The Pakistani government has championed Mr. Nazir and backed him in his campaign against the Central Asian militants in his tribal region of South Waziristan. The fighting, touched off by the killing of a tribal elder, was portrayed as a broad success.
Yet, Mr. Nazir has always supported holy war against foreign forces deployed in Afghanistan. He said he rallied Pakistani tribesmen against the Central Asian militants, predominately Uzbeks, because they refused to fight in Afghanistan.
In the news conference, he claimed that the Taliban attacking American and NATO forces over the border in Afghanistan were based in Afghanistan and were not crossing the border from Pakistan. But NATO and Afghan officials say that the infiltration of militants from Pakistan has increased in recent months.
In Afghanistan, a Dutch soldier and one other NATO soldier were killed Friday in separate combat operations in southern Afghanistan, NATO reported in a news release. The Dutch soldier was killed while on patrol in Helmand Province. He was the first Dutch soldier to die in combat in Afghanistan.
NATO soldiers killed an Afghan girl and wounded another on Thursday when they opened fire on a minibus after setting up a temporary checkpoint north of Kabul, a NATO statement said.

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