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 -    WORLD  

Bin Laden treated for kidney problem in Dubai, claims report

Osama bin Laden underwent treatment in July at the American Hospital in Dubai where he met a US Central Intelligence Agency official, French daily Le Figaro and Radio France International reported today.

Quoting "a witness, a professional partner of the administrative management of the hospital," they said the man suspected by the United States of being behind the September 11 terrorist attacks had arrived in Dubai on July 4 by air from Quetta, Pakistan.

He was immediately taken to the hospital for kidney treatment. He left the establishment on July 14, Le Figaro said.

During his stay, the daily said, the local CIA representative was seen going into bin Laden's room and "a few days later, the CIA man boasted to some friends of having visited the Saudi-born millionaire."

Quoting "an authoritative source," Le Figaro and the radio station said the CIA representative had been recalled to Washington on July 15.

Bin Laden has been sought by the United States for terrorism since the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. But his CIA links go back before that to the fight against Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

Le Figaro said bin Laden was accompanied in Dubai by his personal physician and close collaborator, who could be the Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahari, as well as bodyguards and an Algerian nurse.

He was admitted to the urology department of Dr Terry Callaway, who specialises in kidney stones and male infertility. Telephoned several times, the doctor declined to answer questions.

Several sources had reported that bin Laden had a serious kidney infection. He had a mobile dialysis machine sent to his Kandahar hideout in Afghanistan in the first half of 2000, according to "authoritative sources" quoted by Le Figaro and RFI.

AFP


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