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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Afghan insurgent leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar claimed in a television interview broadcast Thursday that his fighters helped Osama bin Laden escape intense U.S. bombardment in the Tora Bora mountains five years ago.
Hekmatyar, a former Afghan prime minister and leader of the Hezb-e-Islami militant group, told Pakistan's private Geo TV network that when the United States began its assault on the rugged Afghan mountains in late 2001, some of his fighters moved bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and other associates to "a safe place" where he met them later.