Pakistan today denied an Iranian radio report that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden had been captured.
“It is not correct,” Interior Ministry Secretary Iftikar Ahmed said.
Officials in Washington were also intensely sceptical.
“We are unaware of bin Laden being captured by anyone at this time,” CIA spokesman Bill Harlow said.
The report by Iran Radio quoted Murtaza Poya, deputy leader of Pakistan’s Islamic Awami Tahrik party, as saying the arrest would not be announced until war had started against Iraq.
“This is just not true,” said Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, Pakistan’s intelligence co-ordinator in the war on terror.
Pakistan Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed also denied the report.
Earlier today he had said: “Osama is not in Pakistan. We have no information about Osama bin Laden, and if someone has this information he should tell us.”