British Press: Mullah Omar Captured, Held near Kandahar by Local Warlord

Published December 8th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The spiritual leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar Mohammad, has been captured and is being held near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, British media reported on Saturday. 

Khaled Pastoon, a spokesman for an anti-Taliban faction, said Omar was being detained in a "friendly environment" by a local warlord regarded as supportive of the hardline Islamic militia, the Times newspaper said. 

The BBC said the warlord was former mujahedeen commander Mullah Naqibullah, who was appointed provincial chief in Kandahar after the Taliban withdrew. 

Omar's fate was to be decided on Saturday morning, said Pashtoon, a spokesman for the former governor of Kandahar province, Gulazha Sherzai. 

Sherzai, a Pashtun warlord, heads one of the tribal forces that took part in the battle to oust the Taliban from Kandahar, their last stronghold, the Times said. 

Kandahar was taken over by anti-Taliban mujahedeen as part of a deal brokered by Pashtun royalist Hamid Karzai, who has been chosen to head Afghanistan's new interim government -- LONDON (AFP) 

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