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AP Exclusive: Hunt for Bin Laden Resisted

Pashtun tribesman Anargul Khan has a Russian-made AK-47 assault rifle around his shoulder and a red rose behind his ear. The rose, Khan says, shows he is a a lover of peace — the gun that he is ready for war. It is men like Khan, children of this unforgiving and unconquerable tribal belt along the Pakistan-Afghan border, that the United States and Pakistan are struggling — and failing — to win over in their quest to hunt down Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida mastermind believed hiding in their midst. Tribal leaders have allowed Pakistani soldiers unprecedented access to their land, proof, they say, that they are willing to cooperate. But tribesmen told The Associated Press during a rare journey to their autonomous homeland that they are deeply mistrustful of the government and turning over men they see as Muslim holy warriors to infidel Americans would be unconscionable. “I would sacrifice my own life, but I would never turn bin Laden over,” said the 20-year-old Khan, flower tucked behind his ear — as is local custom. Full Story

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