Bin Laden death 'won't change' Afghanistan

2011-05-02 11:08
Kabul - A former Taliban envoy said on Monday the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden would not affect the war in Afghanistan, as it is an "Afghan-led" struggle.

US President Barack Obama said on Monday that bin Laden was killed in a fire fight in northern Pakistan and the US forces took custody of his body.

"It won't affect the war in Afghanistan; this is an Afghan-led war," said Abdul Salam Zaeef, former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan.

Zaeef, who was arrested in Islamabad by US intelligence agents following the ouster of the Taliban regime and taken to a US prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, said the killing showed that bin Laden was not in Afghanistan and the US presence was an "unjust occupation".

Zaeef was released in 2005 and recently removed from the UN list of terrorists. He said "all Muslims would be upset for sure" about the killing.


"This is jihad: If someone is alive, he is successful, but when he dies he becomes the real victor," he said. "As a Muslim, I feel that anyone who is martyred by Americans or other non-Muslims is not tolerable."

Afghans were divided over bin Laden's death.

"It is a good news. Maybe we will have peace because of his death and I hope the war will wind down," said Sayed Jabar, a shopkeeper in Kabul.

"As a Muslim I am not happy to hear this," said Abdul Ghafoor, a resident from the eastern province of Nangarhar, where bin Laden was allegedly last seen in Afghanistan.

The Afghan government declined to comment on the killing, but one senior official said that "it should prove to Americans now that the al Qaeda and Taliban leaders are not in Afghanistan and they should take their war inside Pakistan."
Read more on:    al qaeda  |  osama bin laden  |  us  |  afghanistan  |  9/11 attacks  |  security

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