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Friday, 19 November, 1999, 14:01 GMT
Afghan clerics issue bin Laden fatwa



Muslim scholars supporting the Afghan opposition have issued a religious edict or fatwa declaring that the execution of the exiled Saudi dissident, Osama bin Laden, would be legal under Islamic Sharia law.

The decree was issued after a meeting in northern Afghanistan in an area controlled by the former Afghan president, Burhanuddin Rabbani.

The clerics accused Osama bin Laden of rebelling against the Islamic state of Afghanistan run by Mr Rabbani.

In an interview with the BBC, a member of the opposition Northern Alliance, Haji Abdul Qadir, speaking from Panjshir, confirmed the meeting had taken place, but said it was an independent move by the scholars. Mr bin Laden, who is in Afghanistan, is wanted by the United States in connection with bomb attacks against US embassies in East Africa in 1998.

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