The Taliban reveal the grave of their founder, nine years after his death

The Taliban on Sunday revealed in Afghanistan the grave of their movement’s founder, Mullah Omar, whose death in 2013 and whereabouts were kept secret for years. On the run after the fall of the first Taliban regime at the end of 2001, overthrown by a military coalition led by the United States, Mullah Omar died in 2013 in hiding without the details being known – a disappearance that Islamists have long hidden , not officially announcing it until 2015.

Senior Taliban leaders attended a ceremony at his grave in the eastern city of Omarzo on Sunday, Zabul province, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. The Taliban regained power in August 2021, routing government forces and marking the withdrawal of US-led coalition forces after twenty years of occupation.

A tomb “kept secret”

“As many enemies were present and the country was occupied, to avoid damaging the tomb, it was kept secret,” Zabihullah Mujahid said. Only close family members knew the place.” Photos released by authorities show Taliban leaders gathered around a simple white grave protected by a green iron cage.

“Now that the decision has been made (…) there is no longer a problem for people to visit the tomb,” the spokesman said. Mullah Omar, who died at around 55, founded the Taliban in 1993, which seized power in 1996 after several years of civil war and established a regime based on a strict interpretation of Sharia.

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