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Saturday, September 26, 1998 Published at 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK

World: Americas

US charges Bin Laden 'associate'

Looking for clues after the Kenya bombing

The US authorities have filed charges against a man they describe as a close associate of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi dissident accused by Washington of sponsoring the American embassy bombings in east Africa last month.

The charges, announced in a court in New York, accuse Mamduh Mahmud Salim, who carries a Sudanese passport, of procuring weapons for Mr bin Laden - allegedly including components for nuclear weapons.

However, Mr Salim has not been accused of being involved in the embassy attacks which killed 259 people, including 12 Americans, and wounded thousands.

Salim was arrested in southern Germany last Saturday.

He told German police that he knew Mr bin Laden, but denied any connection with his activitities.

The United States is reported to have begun extradition proceeedings so that Mr Salim can stand trial in America.

The US authorities are already holding two men in custody in New York in connection with the embassy bombings.

Charges have also been filed against a third suspect, who is at large.

Earlier this week, the Tanzanian authorities charged two men in connection with the bombing of the US embassy there.

Following the embassy bombings, the US carried out military strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan, which it alleged were connected with Osama bin Laden.

The attacks were denounced in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

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