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Friday, 12 October, 2001, 08:02 GMT 09:02 UK
Omar: 'Victory or death'
Death awaits Afghanistan's invaders, says Mullah Omar
Taleban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar says his death will not bring an end to the war with America because others will take his place, according to an interview with a Saudi magazine.

"The (Afghan) tribes along with the Taleban are ready for war ... and they agreed to that," the London-based Saudi political weekly magazine, Al-Majalla quoted him as saying.

The struggling nature of the Afghans and the geography of Afghanistan make our country a grave for the invaders

Taleban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar
The interview was said to have taken place in the Taleban's Kandahar headquarters on Monday.

"The outcome of what we are in is either victory or death," the Taleban leader was quoted as saying. "Both are the making of God."

He said that death, rather than victory, awaited Afghanistan's invaders.

"As for those who strike against us now, they have to know that the struggling nature of the Afghans and the geography of Afghanistan makes our country a grave for the invaders," he said.

Under attack

Mullah Omar played down the threat posed by the Northern Alliance, which is fighting to overthrow his regime.

The magazine quoted him as saying that Afghan opposition forces will face "the same fate as those who allied" themselves with the Soviets during their occupation of Afghanistan.

Mullah Omar is believed to have fled his compound near Kandahar on Sunday.

It was attacked by US fighter planes on Sunday night and Wednesday morning.

Residents fleeing Kandahar told Reuters news agency that Mullah Omar's 10-year-old son and stepfather were killed in a direct hit on one of his houses on Wednesday.

The Taleban are accused of harbouring Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network.

Bin Laden is suspected of masterminding the 11 September suicide strikes in New York and Washington.

Mullah Omar has called on all Muslims to back the Taleban's fight against the United States.

See also:

18 Sep 01 | South Asia
Profile: Mullah Mohammed Omar
24 Sep 01 | South Asia
US military threats dismissed
25 Sep 01 | Middle East
Saudi statement in full
25 Sep 01 | Europe
A significant step for Russia
18 Sep 01 | South Asia
Who is Osama Bin Laden?
24 Sep 01 | Business
Will Bush's asset freeze work?
16 Sep 01 | Americas
Analysis: Building a coalition
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