We are close to victory in Afghanistan: Mullah Omar | world | Hindustan Times
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We are close to victory in Afghanistan: Mullah Omar

world Updated: Sep 09, 2010 13:08 IST

Taliban guerrillas are winning in Afghanistan because the NATO-led campaign has been "a complete failure", elusive rebel chief Mullah Omar has said in a rare statement.

Mullah Omar, who is thought to be the spiritual head of the Taliban in Afghanistan, categorically told US President Barack Obama to withdraw the troops "unconditionally and as soon as possible", BBC reported on Thursday.

NATO has stepped up its presence in the war ravaged country to 150,000 soldiers to defeat the heavily armed militants.

The US, however, has set July 2011 as the deadline to begin withdrawal of its troops, if conditions allow. Obama had ordered 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan last December.

Mullah Omar's statement was put up on jihadist websites and the Site Intelligence Group relayed it.

He stated: "The victory of our Islamic nation over the invading infidels is now imminent and the driving force behind this is the belief in the help of Allah and unity among ourselves.

"In the time to come, we will try to establish an Islamic, independent, perfect and strong system."

The Taliban leader, who has not been spotted in public for years, is suspected to be hiding in Pakistan.

He went on to say that that those responsible for the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 that overthrew the Taliban "admit themselves that all their strategies are nothing but a complete failure".

In the statement, he directed his guerrillas to observe the Taliban's code of conduct and not to harm civilians.