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Purported Mullah Omar Recording Emerges In Afghanistan

25 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Taliban spokesman Abdul Latif Hakimi says fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has called on his supporters to put aside differences and continue to battle U.S. and Afghan government forces.

An audio recording of a message, purported to be Omar, was handed over to a Reuters correspondent in Kandahar on 25 July. If authentic, it would be the first new recording of Omar to surface since his regime was overthrown by U.S.-led forces in late 2001.

The recording contains a field radio message addressed to the Taliban's leadership council. It also calls on Taliban fighters to stop harassing ordinary Afghans.

The recorded voice does not elaborate on the disagreements within the Taliban or the reference to harassing people.

Some Afghan officials allege that Omar is hiding in neighboring Pakistan.


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