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Bin Laden Was Hurt, Editor Says

July 16, 2002|Associated Press

CAIRO — Osama bin Laden was wounded in a U.S. bombing raid on Afghanistan in December but is in good health, the editor of a London-based pan-Arab newspaper said Monday.

Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Al Quds al Arabi, said sources close to the Al Qaeda leader "confirmed to me that the man is in good health."

There was no way to verify Atwan's information.

U.S. officials say they have no evidence that Bin Laden was wounded but acknowledge it is a possibility.

Though the Bush administration has said publicly that it does not know whether Bin Laden is alive or dead, U.S. counter-terrorism officials privately concede that they believe he is alive.

In Washington, Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said she was aware of the report, "but we don't have anything to add."

Atwan described how Bin Laden was wounded.

"It happened during the American carpet bombing of Tora Bora in Afghanistan," the editor said by telephone. He said Bin Laden underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from his left shoulder.

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