Afghanistan’s Taliban regime this weekend refused UN demands to extradite suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. The refusal came in response to a UN threat of sanctions against flights by “planes owned, operated or leased by the Taliban,” and against Taliban-owned bank accounts and property in UN member states.
Unless bin Laden is extradited, the U.N. Security Council sanctions take effect on November 14. The Saudi-born bin Laden is wanted in connection with two 1998 terrorist attacks against U.S. embassies in Africa. More than 200 people died in those bombings.
UN member states have voiced strong opposition to the Taliban’s terrorist regime. The official Iranian news agency, IRNA, said on Saturday, ``The Taliban have turned territories under their control into a safe haven for terrorists…It allows terrorists to run training camps and take international terrorists under their wing.'' Canadian officials expressed hope that UN actions could address the human rights violations of the Taliban, as well as issues of terrorism. "We'd like to see a further resolution dealing with the underlying human rights situation ... linking the current sanctions to progress on human rights issues," said foreign affairs spokesman Stewart Wheeler.
Media Resources: Reuters and AP - October 16, 1999