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SENIOR US OFFICIAL REVEALED CHINA SUPPLIED ARMS TO BIN LADEN AFTER SEPT 11 ATTACKS

Page 1 News & Morning in America
Dec. 21, 2001

A senior US official has revealed that China continued to supply arms to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network even after the September 11 attacks.

A week after the attack, the ruling Taliban and the al Qaeda fighters received a shipment of Chinese-made SA-7 missiles. The shoulder-fired anti-aircraft weapons are similar to the US Stinger.

The official says the shipment raises serious questions about Beijing's pledge to help fight terrorism.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Chinese have been found fighting among al Qaeda and the US is aware that the Taliban and al Qaeda got sizable arms shipments from China. Opposition forces found huge amounts of Chinese ammunition in the caves of Tora Bora.

Mr. Rumsfeld said eastern alliance forces captured a good deal of Chinese ammunition.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing said he had "no idea" what Mr. Rumsfeld was referring to in mentioning the large quantities of Chinese ammunition found in al Qaeda caves.

Asked if China had sold weaponry to Afghanistan or neighboring nations, the spokesman said, "China has acted according to the Security Council resolutions on weapons embargo against Afghanistan."


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