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Taliban Leader Denies Talks With Kabul


Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is refuting reports that his group is planning talks with the Afghan government.

Omar said in a statement Tuesday, the Taliban has not held negotiations on the issue in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or elsewhere.

Mullah Omar may be hiding in Pakistan

The Taliban leader is believed to be in hiding in western Pakistan. The United States has offered a $10 million reward for his capture, and has signaled its opposition to negotiations between Omar and the Afghan government.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he would be willing to protect Omar if he entered peace talks.

President Karzai traveled to Khost province Tuesday to join a memorial ceremony attend by hundreds of people for three Afghans killed in a U.S. raid last week.

The U.S. says the victims were linked to al-Qaida, but Afghan officials say they were civilians.

US asked to investigate incident involving civilian deaths

On Monday, Mr. Karzai asked the top U.S. military official, Admiral Mike Mullen, to fully investigate the incident.

Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission released a report Tuesday saying night raids stoke anger and resentment among Afghans against foreign forces.

The Afghan president's office says Mr. Karzai also told Mullen the Afghan government must be consulted about the activities of the 30,000 extra U.S. troops expected to arrive in the country next year.

The extra troops aim to control the Taliban insurgency U.S.-led forces have been fighting since late 2001. The U.S.-led coalition said Tuesday its forces killed six suspected militants and detained three others about 60 kilometers east of Kabul Monday.



Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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