Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar Sunday hailed the release of five senior insurgents in exchange for US soldier Bowe Bergdahl as a “big victory”.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire Afghan Muslim nation, all the mujahideen and to the families and relatives of the prisoners for this big victory regarding the release of five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo prison,” he said in a rare statement.
“I thank the government of Qatar, especially its emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad (Al Thani), who made sincere efforts for release of these leaders and for their mediation and for hosting them,” he added.
Mullah Omar was Afghanistan’s de facto head of state during their 1996-2001 rule ovwr Afghanistan. He has continued to lead the group’s insurgency since they were ousted from power.