Osama Bin Laden
Photo: AP

Rumors: Bin Laden killed in quake

Could it be that Osama Bin Laden was killed in the earthquake that struck Pakistan this week and killed about 50,000 people?

Could it be that Osama Bin Laden was killed in the earthquake that struck Pakistan this week and killed about 50,000 people? Rumors being circulated in the Indian peninsular have it that al-Qaeda’s number one man was in the stricken area when the quake occured and was killed.


The India Daily newspaper reported Tuesday that international intelligence agencies estimate that Bin Laden has been killed in his sanctuary in Pakistani Kashmir.


Despite the rumors, Pakistani authorities have released no information on the matter. The U.S., which has been hunting the Saudi arch terrorist since the deadly attacks of September 11 four years ago, has no clue about Bin Laden’s whereabouts.


In December 2001, U.S. troops operating in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora region said they were close to catching Bin Laden, whom they believe was hiding in a cave there.


Earthquake deaths may reach 80,000


While official Pakistani estimates limited the number of victims in the earthquake that struck Pakistan this week to 50,000, Wasim Yacoub, the head of the Islamic Aid Fund told CNN on Tuesday that his organization expects the death toll to rise to over 80,000.


“I believe that 80,000 thousand deaths will be registered, even more. It’s frightening, it’s horrible, it’s very similar to what happened in the Tsunami,” Yacoub said.


Hopes fade for quake victims


Three days after the devastating Kashmir earthquake, relief efforts remained chaotic on Tuesday despite huge aid pledges and U.N. officials said hopes were fading for those trapped in flattened towns and villages.


Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pledges have poured in from around the world but little by way of emergency supplies have reached desperate survivors due to blocked roads and shortages of aircraft, particularly helicopters.


Some of the hardest hit areas received their first aid on Tuesday as more helicopters joined the operation, but flights had to be halted for several hours due to torrential rains and hailstorms that added to the misery on the ground.


Officials in the worst-hit areas of Pakistani Kashmir and North West Frontier Province say the disaster, the worst in Pakistan's history, may have claimed up to 40,000 lives.


Another 2,000 people are feared to have been killed across the border in Indian Kashmir.


Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told a news conference the confirmed toll so far in Pakistan was 23,000 dead and 51,000 injured, while India has confirmed slightly over 1,200 deaths.


The 7.6 magnitude quake was the strongest to hit the region in a century.


Reuters contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 10.11.05, 20:37
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