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Monday, October 15, 2001, updated at 11:26(GMT+8)

Wrap-up: Bush Rejects New Taliban Offer to Hand Over Bin Laden

U.S. President George W. Bush Sunday rejected the latest offer by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to turn over suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden if the United States supplied sufficient evidence of his guilt.

"There's no need to negotiate," Bush said upon his arrival at the White House from the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland.

The bombing in Afghanistan would not stop unless the ruling Taliban "turn him over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over," he said.

"There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty" in the recent terrorist attacks, Bush added.

The United States has accused bin Laden of masterminding the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Defense Department building in Washington which killed nearly 5, 400 people.

Earlier Sunday, Taliban said it might be willing to extradite bin Laden to stand trial in a neutral country outside U.S. or Taliban influence, but repeated a demand for evidence of bin Laden 's involvement in last month's attacks.

"If proof is provided, a third country could be chosen, which is neither under the influence of the United States, nor the Taliban," Maulani Abdul Kabir, the governor of Jalalabad told a group of visiting international journalists.

The offer came exactly one week after Bush ordered military strikes in Afghanistan in his campaign to eradicate terrorism. Several hours before the strikes were launched, Bush rejected a similar offer from the Taliban.

The latest offer from the Taliban came a day after the Taliban' s supreme leader rebuffed a "second chance" by Bush for the Islamic militia to surrender bin Laden.

In This Section

US President George W. Bush Sunday ruled out any negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan, rejecting the regime's offer to send suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden for trial in a neutral country.

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