Taliban leader urges fighters to regroup
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- In the wake of their dramatic desertion from Kabul, Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has used a radio broadcast to urge his scattered fighters to regroup and "resist the enemy".
According to the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) Mullah Omar made the broadcast Wednesday and called on the Taliban not to desert.
"I am in Kandahar and haven't gone anywhere," AIP quoted him as saying, referring to the southern Afghan city that has long been a Taliban stronghold.
Earlier reports had suggested the Taliban leader had fled the city in the face of attack from the opposition Northern Alliance.
There has been no independently confirmed sighting of Mullah Omar in several weeks.
"I order you to completely obey your commanders," he said, adding that any fighter who deserts their duty "is like a slaughtered chicken which falls and dies".
"You should regroup yourselves, resist and fight."
The comments are thought to be first the reclusive Taliban leader has made since the Alliance began its stunning series of advances through Taliban-controlled territory.
Mullah Omar, who is regarded as the founder of the Taliban, is rarely seen in public.
Prior to the Alliance advance his Islamic militia ruled about 95 percent of Afghan territory.
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