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May 23, 2011 at 09:32pm IST

Taliban leader Mullah Omar killed: report

Kabul: Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has reportedly been killed in Pakistan. Afghan news channel Tolo TV claimed that Mullah Omar was killed in a NATO attack as he was being moved from Quetta to North Waziristan two days ago.

According to Afghan National Directorate of Security spokesperson Lutfullah Mashal claimed Mullah Omar was being escorted by a former Pakistani's intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) chief General Hamid Gul when he was killed.

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He said that there are strong rumours of Mullah Omar being killed but till now there has been no confirmation.

"Reports are that Mullah Omar was on the way from Quetta in Pakistan to Waziristan when this happened," said Mashal.

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Mashal said that though there has been no contact with Mullah Omar for the last several days, yet the Afghan authorities had specific information about his whereabouts and the information was shared with Pakistani intelligence.

Gul, however, denied that he was in touch with Mullah Omar and was not with him when the Taliban chief was reportedly killed.

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"Let us be very clear that the US wants to end the war. That is why all this drama is taking place. First there was the drama about Osama being killed anow this drama about Mullah Omar. I wasn't with him. I have been at my house. These reports are rubbish," said the former ISI chief.

Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Taliban also denied reports of Mullah Omar's death while the Afghanistan government declined to confirm the reports.

ALSO SEE Leader of Taliban Mullah Omar: Who is he?

Rahimullah Yusufzai, Editor of The News, said that there are conflicting reports about Mullah Omar.

"We should wait for Afghan officials to verify these reports. Two reports are doing rounds one which says Mullah Omar is missing for 11 days and another which says he has been killed. It is higly unlikely that he would have been moved to North Waziristan which is already under attack from US forces. There were reports that Mullah Omar is in Pakistan but there has been no real citing of Mullah Omar. Mullah Omar was in contact with his followers through recordings and messages," said Yusufzai.

The ISI had also reportedly launched a massive operation to hunt down Mullah Omar following the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden by a team of US Navy SEALs in the garrison town of Abbottabad near Islamabad.

The agency, left red-faced after Osama bin Laden was found and killed inside Pakistan, decided to launch the operation before the US forces get him.

United States’ FBI, too, had been hunting Mullah Omar, who lost an eye in shrapnel attack in Sangsar in 1987, since October 2001 for sheltering Osama and al Qaeda terrorists prior to the September 11 attacks.

Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban movement that operates in of Afghanistan and Pakistan, operated as Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title 'Head of the Supreme Council'.

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