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Mullah Omar

topics Updated: May 24, 2016 16:34 IST

Mullah Omar founded the Taliban movement in Afghanistan two decades ago, imposing brutal Islamist rule in the country. The one-eyed reclusive leader gained global spotlight for his fundamentalist regime’s treatment of women, its enforcement of Sharia law and strict bans on most sport, television and music. He irked the United States for giving shelter to al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, prompting a US-led invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. After his government was toppled in Kabul later that year, Omar headed a bloody anti-government insurgency from the shadows. Mystery shrouds his death. The Taliban said earlier this year the warrior-cleric had died due to ‘deteriorating’ health conditions, but a splinter group claimed he was killed by senior commanders two years ago.

First Published: May 24, 2016 16:34 IST