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Bin Laden, Taliban chief 'alive and well'


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Bin Laden "is absolutely fine but I would not tell you where he is," the Taliban military commander said.
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LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Taliban leader Mullah Omar and al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden are both alive and in good health, a senior Taliban military commander has told Pakistan television.

Mullah Akhtar Usmani, speaking on camera with Pakistan's private television station GEO, was asked about Mullah Omar.

"He is still our commander and we are still getting instructions from him," Usmani said, adding that Omar was "alive and well."

"The rumors of his illness have been spread by our enemies," Usmani said.

Usmani, who is a member of the Taliban leadership council, would not say if Omar takes part in any of the council's meetings.

"I would not like to reveal the fact whether we meet or not, but what I can tell you is that I am still getting instructions from him," he said.

As for the al Qaeda leader, Usmani said he was also alive and well.

"Yes, he is absolutely fine, but I would not tell you where he is," he said.

It is not possible to confirm if Usmani has access to information about bin Laden, although in the past the Taliban has been involved in protecting the al Qaeda leader.


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