World must stop supporting US, says Omar
KANDAHAR: Taliban supremo Mullah Muhammad Omar has urged the international community to distance itself from the United States’ campaign in Afghanistan, a militant spokesman said on Monday.
The call by the hardline leader came after US Defence Secretary Robert Gates urged European nations to be more involved in the fight against the Taliban. “The United States has been defeated in Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed quoted Omar as saying in a statement.
“They have been trapped here and are desperately trying to get other countries involved,” Mujahed said in a telephone call from an undisclosed location. Omar’s statement said the US, which led the campaign that toppled the Taliban from government in 2001, had “invaded and occupied” Afghanistan. “We’re fighting to free our country,” it said, adding, “We’re not a threat to the world.”
It said the world nations must compel their governments to withdraw [their forces] from Afghanistan and stop supporting the United States. Omar said his militant group would intensify attacks on government and foreign military targets in the spring, the traditional Afghan fighting season. The group would also “establish relations with the world,” said the statement attributed to the one-eyed militant. Omar carries a multi-million-dollar bounty on his head but has avoided capture.
A senior US administration official said on Friday Omar was in Quetta, but Pakistan rejected this. afp