Bush administration says bin Laden, al-Qaida on run

WASHINGTON -- Terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network are on the run in Afghanistan and their Taliban supporters are in disarray, but the American-led military campaign to crush them is far from over, senior administration officials said Sunday.

Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, in separate talk show interviews, both said they have no reason to believe bin Laden has escaped Afghanistan.

"I have seen no intelligence or information to suggest" he has left, Powell said on ABC's "This Week."

The Taliban's envoy to Pakistan said Saturday that bin Laden had left Afghanistan, but that has not been substantiated. Later, the diplomat said he meant only that bin Laden was outside areas under Taliban control.

Powell, Wolfowitz and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice all suggested bin Laden's room to maneuver is shrinking, his options narrowing.

"It's getting harder for him to hide as more and more territory is removed from Taliban control," Powell said. "I don't think there's any country in the region that would be anxious to give him guest privileges if he showed up."

Wolfowitz described bin Laden as "in very great danger" of being killed or captured.

Bombing continues

U.S. bombing continued Sunday in the Kandahar area in southern Afghanistan and the Kunduz area in the north. The Pentagon also reported that 75 strike aircraft participated in Saturday's attacks in six target areas near Kabul, the capital. In keeping with its usual practice of reporting details only from the previous day's attacks, the Pentagon said tunnels and caves used by Taliban and al-Qaida leaders were among the targets.

Powell said the Central Intelligence Agency has been doing "some rather splendid work with respect to our activities in Afghanistan, working alongside our military forces that are inside in Afghanistan."

The Washington Post reported Sunday the CIA has paramilitary forces in Afghanistan; Powell would not confirm that.

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