9 years after his death, the Taliban reveal the location of its founder’s grave

On Sunday, the Taliban in Afghanistan revealed the location of the tomb of the movement’s founder, Mullah Omar, whose death and burial place has been kept a secret for years.

Rumors spread about Mullah Omar’s health and whereabouts after the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 following the US-led invasion, until the movement’s officials admitted in April 2015 that he had died two years earlier.

Ceremonies around his grave

For his part, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP on Sunday that prominent leaders of the movement attended earlier Sunday a ceremony around his grave near Omarzo in the province of Zabul.

‘Family members only’

“With so many enemies and because the country was occupied, the location of the tomb was kept a secret in order to avoid harming it. Only close family members know the location,” Mujahid explained.

Pictures released by the authorities show Taliban leaders gathered around a simple white tomb protected by a green iron cage. “Now the decision has been taken… Therefore, there is no longer a problem for people to visit the grave,” the spokesman said.

America’s withdrawal

The Taliban regained power in August 2021, which led to the withdrawal of the US-led coalition forces after 20 years.

Mullah Omar, who died at the age of 55, founded the Taliban in 1993, which seized power in 1996 after years of civil war and established a system based on a strict interpretation of sharia law.

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