Pakistan dismisses claim bin Laden hiding in north

Pakistani authorities on Tuesday dismissed speculation that Osama bin Laden might be hiding in the country's mountainous north, a region known more for spectacular scenery than Islamic militancy. A recent visit to the resort town of Chitral by at least one American prompted allegations from a hard-line Islamic party's local lawmaker that the FBI or CIA had set up an office there to hunt for the al-Qaida chief. "These sort of stories keep appearing," Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said at a news conference in the capital, Islamabad. He denied that US agents were based in Chitral.