Taleban Information Minister Qudrutullah Jamal says he believes an edict from Afghan clerics asking accused terrorist Osama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan has been delivered in person.
He told Reuters news agency by telephone from Kabul that the edict had to be delivered by a messenger because the Saudi fugitive has no other facilities such as a telephone or a fax machine.
The minister also said he has no reason to believe that Osama bin Laden has left Afghanistan.
Taleban officials had initially asserted they could not find the fugitive to inform him of the clerics' decision.
The United States has threatened military action against the Taleban for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden, identified by the United States as the prime suspect in this month's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
Earlier Thursday, Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar said Afghans who want to oust the Taleban with the help of American troops will be treated like those who collaborated with the former Soviet Union.
The Taleban leader said he has seen news reports that the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance is seeking U-S help in its efforts to overthrow the Taleban rulers.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Pakistani religious leaders who support the Taleban say they plan to go to Afghanistan Friday to meet with the Taleban leaders. There are conflicting reports on whether the delegation will include Pakistani officials or not.