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Captured Taliban spokesman says Pakistan protecting Taliban leader

John Byrne
Published: Wednesday January 17, 2007
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"Fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is alive and well and living in Pakistan under the protection of the Pakistan intelligence agency, according to the captured spokesman for the Taliban, Mohammad Hanif," ABC News reports.

Hanif was captured yesterday in Afghanistan, and in footage released today by the Afghan government, he claims to know the location of Omar.

"He is living in Quetta," says Hanif, according to ABC, "and the ISI [Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency] is protecting him."

"While Pakistani officials dismiss this statement, the information coincides with secret U.S. military documents obtained by ABC News earlier this year," ABC's The Blotter continues. "The documents were part of a U.S. targeting assessment produced in January 2005 and, incredibly, were bought at an Afghanistan street bazaar, just a few hundred feet from the front gate of the U.S. air base in Bagram. The documents listed 16 senior level al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, including Omar, as hiding in Pakistan where U.S. troops cannot operate."