Osama bin Laden is alive and in contact with leaders of Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents, a senior Taliban commander said in an interview aired on British television.
Mullah Dadullah said he had not met bin Laden since the fall of the Taliban regime after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. He said the al-Qaeda leader, believed to be hiding near the Afghan border in north-west Pakistan, rarely met outsiders.
"Only his comrades see him; we exchange messages with each other to share plans," Mr Dadullah said in an interview broadcast by Channel 4 News.
"We also go to the battlefield together. We actually meet very rarely, just for important consultations. It's hard for anyone to meet bin Laden himself now, but we know he's still alive.
"He's not yet martyred. Such information would be easy to get - his comrades stand shoulder to shoulder with us. They keep us informed," said Mr Dadullah, commander of Taliban operations in eastern and south-eastern Afghanistan and a trusted associate of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
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