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Iraq Denies Involvement with Bin Laden's Network

Iraq Denies Involvement with Bin Laden's Network

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(Baghdad, Iraq-AP) -- Iraq is again denying that it has any links with al-Qaida. In an interview today with Lebanese T-V, Iraq's vice president (Taha Ramadan) says his country hasn't sheltered any members of Osama bin Laden's terrorist group

He accuses the U-S of using the al-Qaida allegations as a pretext for war. And he says the U-S is looking for oil and wants to protect Israel.

U-S officials have said the latest audiotape attributed to bin Laden bolsters their case that al-Qaida has ties with Saddam Hussein.

The tape aired yesterday on the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.

On it, the voice urges Iraqis to fight Americans by staging suicide attacks and luring troops into urban battles.

But the tape hasn't been reported on by Iraqi media -- and most Iraqis don't have satellite dishes.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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