Washington, Aug. 6 (Reuters): Amid optimism about finding Saddam Hussein, America’s top general yesterday said US forces also are pressing ahead with their hunt for Osama bin Laden in the belief he may he hiding along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said there remained some question as to whether bin Laden, the Saudi-born leader of the al Qaida network blamed for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, is still alive.
“If he’s alive, a lot of people believe that the region he is in is in that border area where the terrain is very rugged and where he might find people sympathetic to his outlook on life,” Myers told a Pentagon briefing.
“It’s one of those things, just like Saddam Hussein, that we’ll continue to keep pressure on those kind of individuals. It’s important,” said Myers, who visited Afghanistan and Pakistan last week on a trip that also took him to Iraq and India.
18 Saddam aides held
US soldiers in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit said today they had arrested 18 of his supporters and seized a big arms cache as they kept up the hunt for Iraq’s elusive former dictator.
A spokeswoman gave few details of the latest army sweep.