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Mulla Omar Denies Endorsing Peace Talks

In an Internet statement posted on the militant Afghani Taliban group's website, Taliban leader Mullah Omar denied media reports suggesting that he has given the green light for peace talks with the Afghani President Hamid Karzai's government under Saudi auspices.

"I have not sent, nor received any letters from the Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz," said the letter, "all what's been published in this regard is nothing but baseless rumors."

The Sunday Times had recently reported that Mullah Omar has approved Saudi-sponsored talks with the Afghan government and dispatched a number of his aides to attend peace negotiations in Saudi Arabia.

The paper had quoted one of the mediators, Abdullah Anas, as saying, "Mullah Omar has given the green light to talks, a big, big step has happened, for the first time, there is a language of peace on both sides." Anas is an Algerian militant Islamist and a former friend of Osama bin Laden who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan. He is now has a political asylum status in the U.K.