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Sunday, 30 December, 2001, 10:41 GMT
Pakistan spy service 'aiding Bin Laden'
Osama Bin Laden in his last recorded tape
The US has also stepped up efforts to find Bin Laden
Afghan interior minister Younis Qanooni has accused the Pakistani secret service of helping al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden flee Afghanistan.

Speaking in an interview with Iranian television, Mr Qanooni said the Pakistani ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) was at odds over Bin Laden with the Pakistani Government, which has supported the American-led war against terror.

"Undoubtedly they (ISI) knew what was going on," he said.

"The fact that there have not been any reactions and that he has not been arrested indicates that he is somehow being supported by the Pakistani ISI."

Successful 'game'

Mr Qanooni said that Bin Laden and his followers were constantly on the move between his country and Pakistan, despite continuing searches by American troops.

Afghan Interior Minister Younis Qanooni
Mr Qanooni says Bin Laden is playing 'his own game'

"Osama has been successful in playing his own game," he said.

"He has eluded the tactics that they (the Americans) have chosen because...he has not stayed in one area."

An Afghan defence ministry spokesman suggested last week that Bin Laden had crossed from the Tora Bora region into Pakistan the week before.

But Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar said his government "had no information whatsoever" that Bin Laden was in the country.

Mr Qanooni's comments come as US investigators stepped up efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden by questioning more than 200 members of his al-Qaeda network.

US planes have also continued sporadic bombardments of the Tora Bora region in a bid to flush out remaining al-Qaeda forces.

See also:

27 Dec 01 | South Asia
Bin Laden video condemned
19 Dec 01 | South Asia
FBI probes prisoners for clues
29 Dec 01 | South Asia
Afghan refugees head home
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