US ‘nearly caught Mullah Omar’, claims driver


The Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar was almost caught as he was spirited from his compound after US bombs began falling in Afghanistan last October, Newsweekmagazine reported today.

Mullah Omar

Omar initially spurned advisers' pleas to flee, according to Saheb, saying, "Even if Bush shows up at my door, I will not leave."

Knowing the Mullah's sport utility vehicles would be targeted, aides ushered him into what Newsweekdescribed as a rickshaw. From his compound he was taken to the center of town and spent the next several days sleeping in a different house each night, the driver told the magazine.

When Americans went to search Omar's house later in the war, the mullah's supporters were so close they threw grenades as the US troops left. A Taliban commander ordered his six tanks to open fire, but US bombs destroyed them first.

"What kind of an army are these Americans," Saheb said. "It was amazing to see how they destroyed all our tanks."