Pakistani Taliban leader says he would shelter bin Laden

The Baltimore Sun

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A Pakistani Taliban leader who is waging a government-backed campaign to evict Central Asian militants from Pakistan's tribal regions said yesterday that he would give Osama bin Laden sanctuary 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, told journalists in the tribal region of South Waziristan.

Al-Qaida's top leaders, bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, are widely believed to be hiding somewhere in Pakistan's seven tribal areas, along the Afghan border.

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