Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar are alive and healthy, an anti-government militant group said after the Saudi terrorist appeared this month on a new video.
“I don't know exactly where they are but I absolutely know they’re alive and healthy,” Mohammad Haroon Zarghoon, a spokesman for the renegade warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said.
“We have no communications but we know through our channels that he and Omar are both alive,” Zarghoon said.
Hekmatyar, a former Afghan prime minister, is fighting the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai in a rebellion carried out alongside but separately from that of the Taliban.
Zarghoon said the fugitive leaders, both carrying multi-million-dollar bounties on their heads, were hiding near the Afghan-Pakistani border.
He said since helping Bin Laden escape US and Afghan troops in the mountains of Tora Bora in 2002, Hekmatyar's Hizb-i-Islami faction had had no direct contact with him.
Bin Laden appeared on a new video released Friday in which he discussed current events but issued no direct threats. The video appeared to
be timed to mark the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.