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Mullah Omar Releases Defiant Recorded Statement - 2001-10-10


The leader of Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement has released a defiant recorded statement, his first since the U.S. attack on Taleban and terrorist targets in Afganistan.

Ever since the U.S.-led air raids on Afghanistan began on Sunday, Taleban spokesmen have said that the group's reclusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is unhurt. In what is believed to be a message of reassurance to his Afghan followers, Mullah Omar recorded a statement, which was provided to the VOA.

In the statement, Mullah Omar asks the Muslim world for support against the American strikes.

Reports suggest that the Taleban-run "Voice of Shariat" radio station was destroyed by the strikes on Monday night. Mullah Omar's house in the southern Taleban stronghold of Kandahar was among the first targets of the U.S.-led attacks. But Taleban officials say their leader was not there at the time.

U.S. officials say the attacks are aimed at destroying terrorist training camps linked to suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. They say Taleban military installations are also under attack because the Islamic movement is harboring the Saudi fugitive.

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