PARIS (Reuters) - A French regional newspaper quoted a French secret service report on Saturday as saying that Saudi Arabia is convinced that al Qaeda leaderOsama bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan last month.
"According to a usually reliable source, the Saudi services are now convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead," the document said.
"The information gathered by the Saudis indicates that the head of al Qaeda was a victim while he was in Pakistan on August 23, 2006, of a very serious case of typhoid which led to a partial paralysis of his internal organs."
The report, which was stamped with a "confidential defense" label and the initials of the French secret service, said Saudi Arabia first heard the information on September 4 and that it was waiting for more details before making an official announcement.
Officials contacted by Reuters in Chirac's and Villepin's offices had no immediate comment.
A senior official in Pakistan's interior ministry said: "We have no information about Osama's death."
Saudi-born Bin Laden was based inAfghanistan until the Taliban government there was overthrown by U.S.-backed forces in late 2001. Since then, U.S. and Pakistani officials have regularly said they believe he is hiding somewhere on the rugged border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The last videotaped message released by bin Laden was in late 2004, but there have been several low quality audio tapes released this year.
(Additional reporting by Islamabad bureau)