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Taliban Release Biography Of Leader Mullah Omar

Mullah Omar
Mullah Omar

The Afghan Taliban have published a biography of their reclusive leader Mullah Omar at a time when some are defecting from Taliban ranks to join other militant groups and talk has been increasing that Mullah Omar might not even be alive.

The 5,000-word biography appeared on the Taliban's main website early April 5 and claimed to have been posted to commemorate the one-eyed cleric's 19th anniversary as leader of the group.

Among the information presented in the biography is Mullah Omar's preference for the RPG-7 as his favorite weapon.

The text also provides information on Omar's background, saying he was born in 1960 in the village of Chah-i-Himmat, in the Kharkez district of Kandahar Province, and says he is from the Tomzi clan of the Hotak tribe.

The biography claims Omar's father was Moulavi Ghulam Nabi, a "respected erudite and social figure" who died when Omar was five years old, after which the family moved to Uruzgan Province.

The information says Omar studied at a madrasah, contradicting widespread reports Omar is illiterate, but abandoned his studies after the Soviet invasion.

The posting says Mullah Omar "keenly follows and inspects jihadi activities" but adds he is "regularly being tracked by the enemy."

There have been no verified sightings of Mullah Omar in 13 years.

Based on reporting by AFP and the BBC