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December 7, 2001
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Mullah Omar being held by warlord, say reports

The Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, has been captured and is in the custody of a warlord sympathetic to the militia, the British media reported on Saturday.

Omar was captured on Friday night and is near Kandahar in the custody of warlord Khalid Pushtoon, who is sympathetic to the militia, in a "friendly environment", The Times reported quoting a spokesman for Gul Agha Sherzai, a Kandahar commander.

The spokesman was quoted as saying that his group would demand that Omar be handed over, probably to the new interim government to be led by Hamid Karzai, at a tribal meeting on Saturday.

Channel 4 also said Omar was being held in Afghanistan by Pushtoon forces. "The city's new rulers told Channel 4 News they are holding the Taliban leader," the television network said.

"With a thousand other Taliban, he is being held in what is described as a 'friendly environment'," it said.

The Pentagon said news of Omar's capture was "potentially interesting", but added that it had no independent verification from US special forces in the area.

"In the absence of that we will we will tend to see what comes out," a spokesman said.

PTI

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