The Taliban on Tuesday released two photos of a modest mud house in southeastern Afghanistan where they say the group’s supreme leader and founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar, allegedly spent the last years of his life.
“Mullah Mohammad Omar lived at the hideout until his death in 2013 and led the militants from the tiny room,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.
Mujahid added on Twitter that Mullah Omar used a garden at the hideout to sunbathe.
On Sunday, the U.S.-based Zomia Centre Think Thank published findings of Dutch journalist Bette Dam which showed Mullah Omar was living close to U.S. bases in southern Zabul province after the Taliban were ousted from power.
Dam’s conclusion was contrary to Washington’s belief that the Taliban leader fled to and died in Pakistan following the fall of Taliban regime and the U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S.
The Taliban were in power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
In Kabul, the findings have angered government officials.
A spokesman for the presidential palace, Haroon Chakhansuri, dubbed the result of the research as delusional, adding that “sufficient evidence” exists that Mullah Omar lived and died in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani’s running mate in the upcoming presidential elections, Amrullah Saleh, called the findings a “manipulative piece of propaganda”.