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Hunt for Taleban Leader Intensifies - 2002-01-04

Defense officials say the United States has no idea where fugitive Taleban leader Mullah Mohamed Omar is, but the hunt is intensifying.

Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said Friday that U.S. forces are working aggressively with their Afghan allies to apprehend Mullah Omar.

But casting new doubt on reports the fugitive Taleban leader may be in the Baghran area northwest of Kandahar, with some 1,500 Taleban fighters, Ms. Clarke says his location remains unknown.

"The latest on Omar is that we do not know where he is," she said. "We will continue to use every resource we have and continue to aggressively take action to try to get him."

Al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has also eluded capture. U.S. forces have now dropped leaflets over Afghanistan calling bin Laden a coward and accusing him of abandoning his fighters. It calls on terrorists to surrender.