There has been a cautious response to claims in a French newspaper that Osama bin Laden has died. L’Est Republicain printed what it says is a copy of a French Secret Service report that the world-wide leader of al-Qaeda died of typhoid in Pakistan last month. According to the report, a reliable source had told Saudi authorities of bin Laden’s death.
The Saudi Interior Ministry has not yet commented on the claims. Officials from Pakistan, France and the US have denied receiving any indication the report is true.
Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac has launched an inquiry into how the secret papers were leaked.