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Afghans Ask Bin Laden to Leave

September 27, 2001

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Afghan authorities have delivered a message to Osama bin Laden advising him of a decision by the country’s clerics recommending that he leave Afghanistan voluntarily, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan said Thursday.

The recommendation was made Sept. 20 by a council of clerics, or the Ulema, during a meeting in the Afghan capital Kabul. Later, however, the ruling Taliban said they could not find bin Laden to inform him of the decision.

``Osama has now received the Ulema council’s recommendations and their endorsement″ by Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, Ambassador Abdul Salam Zaeef said. ``We have not lost Osama, but he is out of sight of the people.″

Zaeef did not say how the message was conveyed nor where bin Laden was hiding. He also did not indicate bin Laden’s reaction to the message.

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