Taliban Denies Report of Leader's Death

But intelligence bureau confirms Mullah Mohammad Omar cannot be located
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2011 10:13 AM CDT
Mullah Omar, chief of the Taliban, is shown in this headshot photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency is investigating reports that Taliban leader Mohammad Omar cannot be located, the Washington Post reports. Rumblings that Omar and top commanders vanished from their hideout sometime during the last few days led to reports by some media outlets in the country that he may be dead, but the Taliban denies those claims.

“Rumors were spread this morning by the Kabul stooge regime’s intelligence directorate, other officials, and some media outlets that the esteemed Amir ul Mumineen was martyred in Pakistan,” the Taliban said today in a statement. “We strongly reject these false claims of the enemy.” A spokesman for the country's intelligence bureau confirms that senior Taliban commanders haven't been able to contact Omar, but says the agency cannot officially confirm whether the leader is dead or alive.

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