Several foreign news sites are reporting the capture of Osama bin Laden:
TEHRAN, Feb. 28 (Xinhuanet) — Osama bin Laden has been captured in a tribal region in Pakistan, the IRNA news agency quoted Iran’s state radio as saying on Saturday.
The radio’s external service, broadcast in Pushtu, said US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s trip to Pakistan on Thursday had been made in connection with the capture.
“The capture of the al-Qaida leader has been made sometime before, but (US President George W.) Bush is intending to announce it when the American presidential election is held,” the radio said.
Contacted by IRNA, an Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) announcer at the Pushtu service confirmed the news, saying that they had got it from a “very reliable source” in Peshawar, Pakistan.
The U.S. government denies it:
A senior U.S. defense official denied the report, telling Reuters it was “another piece of stray voltage that’s passing around out there.”
The Iranian correspondent responsible for the report told Reuters the radio had also reported bin Laden’s capture a year ago. But said a new source had told him Friday the al Qaeda leader had been seized “a long time ago.”
“It could be one month ago, it could be one year, but he has been arrested,” he said.
While declining to reveal his source or how his source knew of the capture, he said: “My source said it and he knows it.”
He said the reason U.S. officials had denied the report was so that they could time the release of the news of bin Laden’s capture to help boost President Bush’s chances of re-election at presidential polls in November.