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'Taliban supreme leader has lost control'

world Updated: Jul 19, 2010 19:28 IST

Taliban supreme leader Mullah Muhammad Omar has lost control over the group as the capture of 23 rebel commanders "without any resistance" over the past one month bears proof, a media report said on Monday quoting a NATO spokesman.

The reclusive Taliban chief directed his commanders last month to kill or capture any Afghan citizen who supported the Karzai administration or foreign troops, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz told a news conference.

The ISAF had received a copy of Omar's message, asking the militants to battle against the foreigners until the end and focus on capturing heavy weapons in fighting with NATO soldiers, dailyoutlookafghanistan.net reported quoting the official.

Omar has ordered his followers to hire individuals with information about international troops, according to the ISAF spokesman, who claimed 23 rebel commanders and 382 militants had been detained without any resistance during the past one-month.

The German Army officer believed the arrests without resistance showed either Mullah Omar had effectively lost control over his men or the Taliban insurgents were flouting his orders.

But a rebel mouthpiece rejected the ISAF spokesman's remarks as groundless. Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone from an undisclosed location, Zabihullah Mujahid denied Omar had sent such a message to them.

Mujahid attacked the NATO-led force for its propaganda aimed at driving a wedge between the people and the movement.