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Taliban chief's killing can't be verified: NDS

Taliban chief's killing can't be verified: NDS

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On
May 23, 2011 - 17:50

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Talibaninfo-icon leader Mullahinfo-icon Mohammad Omar has been missing for the last four days, but his death could neither be confirmed nor repudiated, a spokesman for the Afghan spy service said on Monday.

Earlier in the day, a National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon) source said Taliban's reclusive chief had been killed in a joint operation by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISIinfo-icon) and the Haqqani Networkinfo-icon in Pakistaninfo-icon.

The one-eyed fugitive was killed on his way from Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province, to the tribal region of North Waziristan, the official said on condition of anonymity.

But NDS spokesman Lotfullah Mashal told a news conference in Kabul that Omar's killing could neither be refuted nor verified as long as his body was not found.

"With our supreme leader missing, we can neither contact him, nor conduct any operation, nor purchase weapons. Such things needed approval from him," Mashal quoted a Taliban commander as telling NDS officials over the phone.

But rebel spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, strongly rejected the killing of Omar, saying that he was in Afghanistaninfo-icon fighting against "foreign invaders".

Separately, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) said no credible source had so far confirmed Omar's death. The NATOinfo-icon-led force was looking into reports about his death, ISAF spokesman Josef Blotz said.

"We are awaiting more details and information in this regard. At this point in time, it's unclear whether or not he has been killed," he added.

Spiritual leader and founder of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Omar was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001.

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