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Taliban's Omar eludes capture

By CNN's John Raedler and Kanishka Bakhshi

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The whereabouts of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar remain a mystery, a high-ranking intelligence official in Kabul said Saturday.

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Abdullah Tawheedi, deputy head of intelligence in Afghanistan's new interim government, told CNN that Afghan forces are continuing to search for Omar with the search focused near Baghran in the southern province of Helmand.

"The clean-up process is going on," Tawheedi said.

He was responding to a report that the reclusive, one-eyed Taliban leader had escaped the noose of Afghan forces near Baghran and fled Helmand.

He said he could not comment on Omar's whereabouts until a thorough search of the area was completed.

Earlier this week, the chairman of the Afghanistan's interim administration, Hamid Karzai, said he had authorized a major military action against a suspected Omar stronghold near Baghran.

"If we don't capture him this time, we will next time," he said.

Other government officials said they believed about 1,000 Taliban soldiers were protecting Omar.

But on Friday, Tawheedi told CNN he believed those Taliban troops -- including their well-known commander, Rayes Abdul Wahid -- had surrendered to the Afghan forces.



 
 
 
 


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