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Afghanistan: U.S. Official -- Taliban Must Go If It Harbors Bin Laden

Washington, 30 September 2001 (RFE/RL) -- A U.S. official says the Taliban militia that controls most of Afghanistan should be removed from power if it persists in harboring suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. Andrew Card, the chief of staff for President George W. Bush, said today on American television that the Taliban is unworthy of leadership and should be ousted.

Card was responding to the militia's statement earlier today that it has bin Laden under its control and is prepared to negotiate his surrender to the U.S. Card repeated Bush's assertion that the Taliban must give up bin Laden unconditionally.

Washington says bin Laden is the chief suspect in the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States that left about 6,000 people dead or missing.