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Taliban leader vows to free Afghanistan from "American puppets"

Elusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has vowed in a rare statement to “liberate” Afghanistan from “American puppets”, a Pakistan-based news agency reported Saturday.”America and its puppets must know that we have full determination to liberate our country from them,” it quoted Omar as saying. “We cannot be deceived and nothing can deviate us from our mission as we are more stronger and organised than ever before,” the fugitive. He accused the United States of “deceiving” Afghan people and “destroying” their Islamic culture. The United States led a campaign that ousted the hardline Islamic Taliban from power in late 2001. Last month the country held its first direct presidential election. “America wants to impose obscene Western culture on Afghan people under the garb of elections,” the statement said. Omar said that Taliban, which has been conducting a low-level resistance to the new Afghanistan government since it was forced from power, could have prolonged its rule had it “joined the conspiracies with America”. However it did not do so “as no Muslim and mujahed (Islamic warrior) could think of it,” he said.The statement was released late Friday to coincide with the Eid al-Fitr celebrations, the news agency said.Omar, who is seldom heard from, released a similar statement for Eid last year in which he urged Afghans to boycott elections “hatched by Jews and Christians.”Full Story

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