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Taliban: Leader Mullah Omar is alive in Afghanistan

May 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Taliban is denying reports one of its leaders has been killed in neighboring Pakistan.

A spokesman for the militant group said Mullah Mohammed Omar is alive and in Afghanistan, busy directing military operations.

Word of Omar's supposed death was reported on Afghan news channel Tolo. The channel cited an anonymous Afghan intelligence official as saying that Omar had been shot dead in Pakistan while being moved from Quetta to North Waziristan with the help of former Pakistani intelligence chief Gen. Hamid Gul.

When contacted though, Afghan and Pakistani intelligence both said they had no such reports.

There has been much speculation that the U.S. might ramp up efforts to kill or capture the reclusive, one-eyed Taliban leader after the successful strike against Osama bin Laden.

President Barack Obama has said he would order another covert military raid if it was necessary to stop terrorist attacks.

Most of those with knowledge of the Taliban organization say Omar is hiding in southern Pakistan, around Quetta or Karachi.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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