Taliban Say Mullah Omar Alive, Accuse U.S. of Hacking Phonesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Taliban on Wednesday said Mullah Omar was still alive, accusing the Americans of hacking into their phones after a text message sent to media from a spokesman's phone said the leader was dead.
In the message, Zabihullah Mujahid said: "Leadership council of IEA (Islamic emirate of Afghanistan) announces that Ameer-ul-Mumineen (Mullah Omar) has passed away. May mighty God bless him."
He later denied sending the message, speaking by telephone.
"We strongly reject this claim. We are not aware of such news. Americans have hacked our cellphones with advanced technology and sent the message to the media," said Mujahid.
A second spokesman, Qari Yosuf Ahmadi, also said phones had been hacked.
"That's a false message. The Westerners hacked into our cellphones and sent the message from our numbers to everyone. They want to deceive the Afghan people. It's wrong. He is not dead and is alive," said Ahmadi.
The deputy chief of intelligence for the southern city of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban and an ongoing hotspot of insurgent activity, said the National Directorate for Security (NDS) had no reports of Omar's death.
"We have received reports a message has been spread by the Taliban about Mullah Omar's death but our intelligence sources as well as the government have not received any official confirmation of his death," said Abdul Wahab Salih.