Former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said in a recent interview with Pakistani television that his forces led Osama Bin Laden from the mountains of Tora Bora to a “safe place” in late 2001, after U.S. troops had surrounded the area.


Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar says his fighters helped al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden escape a U.S. offensive five years ago.

Bin Laden was moved to “a safe place” when the U.S. assault on the Tora Bora mountains began in late 2001, the Hezb-e-Islami leader told Pakistani TV.

Mr. Hekmatyar said Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, was also taken to the undisclosed location.

The rare interview was broadcast on Thursday by the private Geo TV network.

The authenticity of the interview could not be independently confirmed, but interviewer Saleem Safi told Reuters news agency it was conducted in Afghanistan nearly three weeks ago.

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