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Taliban chief warns US-led troops in Eid message

September 20, 2009 20:23 IST

Mullah Omar, the Taliban's elusive leader, has warned United States-led troops in Afghanistan that their 'unequivocal defeat' is imminent, as the insurgents are 'forging ahead like a powerful flood' against them.

In a purported online message issued to mark Eid, Omar referred to 'huge casualties and sagging morale' among the more than 100,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and US-led troops in Afghanistan fighting Taliban-linked insurgents.

"The more the enemy resorts to increasing forces, the more they will face an unequivocal defeat in Afghanistan," he said in the message, believed to be the first from Omar since 2006. It came weeks before the eighth anniversary of the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime in Kabul.

Describing Afghanistan as a graveyard for 'colonial' troops, he said the Taliban's fight against American and NATO troops in the country "is forging ahead like a powerful flood."

"Anyone who opts to resist it will himself be washed away. Atrocity, torture, brutality, conspiracies, coalitions, the foreign forces and mercenaries could not hurl stumbling blocks in the way of this robust Jihadi movement," he says.

The fight against foreign forces 'is approaching the edge of victory' according to Omar. "Our goal is to gain independence for the country and establish a just Islamic system there on the basis of the aspirations of the Muslim nation. We can consider any option that could lead to the achievement of this goal," he said.

With 48 deaths, August was the deadliest month for the US military in Afghanistan, since the mission began in late 2001. The United States now has about 62,000 US troops there while the NATO allies have another 35,000.

The Pentagon plans to add 6,000 troops by the end of the year. On Thursday, six Italian troops and at least 10 Afghan civilians were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul.

"We would like to point out that we fought against the British invaders for 80 years, from 1839 to 1919, and ultimately got independence by defeating Britain," Omar says. He also advised Western nations to go back even further in Afghanistan's history to study the period of Alexander the Great, who suffered severe losses when his army invaded the country in the fourth century.

"Today we have strong determination, military training and effective weapons. Still more, we have preparedness for a long war, and the regional situation is in our favour. Therefore, we will continue to wage Jihad until we gain independence and force the invaders to pull out," the Taliban leader was quoted as saying by CNN.

Omar also criticised the government of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. "The rampant corruption in the surrogate Kabul administration, the embezzlement, drug trafficking, the existence of mafia networks, the tyranny and high-handedness of the warlords are part of the colonial plans," he said.

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