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Taleban: bin Laden Not to Blame for US Attacks - 2001-09-11

Afghanistan's Taleban Islamic movement says Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden could not be responsible for devastating air attacks in the United States.

Taleban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, has condemned what he calls terrorist attacks on U.S. targets. At a news conference in Islamabad, he rejected suggestions that Saudi militant Osama bin Laden, who lives in Afghanistan, could be behind them.

Mr. Zaeef says it was a well-organized and sophisticated plan. He says Osama bin Laden does not have access to the tools and communication facilities, which are needed for attacks of this scale.

Mr. bin Laden is wanted in the United States for masterminding the August 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed more than 200 people. Washington retaliated with missile strikes a few days later in a bid to target alleged terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, which it said were linked to the Saudi millionaire.

Pakistan, a strong supporter of the Taleban movement, has also condemned the attacks. The country's military leader, General Pervez Musharraf, in a statement to President Bush says the world must unite to fight terrorism in all its forms. "We share the grief of the American people in their grave national tragedy," General Musharraf said. "We strongly condemn this most brutal and horrible acts of terror and violence. This world must unite to fight against terrorism and root out this modern-day evil."

Two hijacked planes crashed into the giant towers of the World Trade Center in New York, destroying them, and a third plane struck the Pentagon outside Washington.