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Pakistan army denies helping Mullah Omar after heart attack

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Pakistan’s military has denied a report that its spies helped Taliban chief Mullah Omar receive treatment for a heart attack in a Karachi hospital earlier this month. The Taliban have also denied the claim.

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Mullah Omar, who has been in hiding since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, suffered a heart attack on 7 January and was taken to hospital near Karachi, according to the Washington Post.

The paper cited a report by The Eclipse Group, a private intelligence network run by former US security officials. It reportedly said its source was a physician at the hospital.

Dossier: AfPak news and analysis

The Post said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency had "rushed him to a hospital in Karachi, where he was given heparin [an anti-coagulant] and operated on," and that he was released to the ISI after a few days.

The doctor reportedly said Omar also appeared to have suffered some brain damage and slurred speech following an operation conducted after the heart attack.

But a Pakistani military statement “strongly contradicted” the story, saying it is “unfounded and concocted to serve vested interests”.

And Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahib told the AFP wire service that it is “a mere rumour created by our enemies”.

"Supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is absolutely fine and healthy and is continuing his jihad activities in Afghanistan,” he declared.

The ISI is frequently accused of maintaining links with the Taliban, whom it helped to seize power in Afghanistan in the 1990s, despite the country’s alliance with the US.
 

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