Pakistan’s president suggested today that Osama bin Laden could be dead, an assertion the US strenuously objects to, the New York Daily News reports. “He may be dead. But that’s been said before,” Asif Ali Zardari said. “It’s still between fiction and fact.” Zardari offered no proof for his claim.
“We continue to assume he is still living and breathing,” a US intelligence official said. Bin Laden’s most recent audio message, which came March 19, has been authenticated by the US. Pakistan recently began an offensive against separatists near the mountainous region where US forces first began searching for bin Laden in 2006. That area has been ceded to Islamic fundamentalists.