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Mullah Omar Warns Of Taleban Guerilla War - 2001-09-30


The leader of Afghanistan's ruling Taleban is threatening to fight a long guerrilla war if his government is overthrown.

Mullah Mohammad Omar warned the United States today (Sunday) to think carefully about the consequences of attacking Afghanistan.

Toppling the Taleban government would be difficult, he said on Radio Kabul. But if that happens, he said Taleban fighters will continue their resistance from mountain hideouts.

Meanwhile, the Taleban's ambassador to Pakistan says terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden is under Taleban control and is being hidden inside Afghanistan for his own safety.

Ambassador Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef is quoted as saying only security officials know the whereabouts of the Saudi-born fugitive.

Asked about the ambassador's statement, U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he questions anything the Taleban says.

The United States continues to demand that the Taleban hand over Mr. bin Laden, the accused mastermind of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington earlier this month that destroyed the World Trade Center and heavily damaged the Pentagon. More than six thousand people remain missing and are presumed dead in the attacks.

The Taleban ambassador said Mr. bin Laden has been given an edict from Taleban religious elders to leave the country, but had not responded as of Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Taleban authorities say they have arrested six men for distributing pamphlets calling on people to support the United States and former Afghan King Mohammad Zahir Shah.

Also, a group of top Muslim clerics from three provinces has issued an edict saying that any Afghan believed to support the United States or the former king should be fined and have their house burned down.

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