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(ANS) – The fugitive leader of Afghanistan ‘s former Taliban regime is still alive and his group has stepped up attacks against Christians, including slitting the throat of a Muslim clerk for spreading Christianity, ASSIST News Service (ANS) learned Friday July 9. An Afghan intelligence official told the Voice of America (VOA) Friday, July 9, that his agency was able briefly to make contact with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, who has been on the run for American forces since 2001 for his alleged involvement in terrorism. The intelligence official, Abdullah Laghmani, said Mullah Omar was contacted through a telephone taken from a captured former Taliban functionary. U.S. troops in Afghanistan have aggressively hunted for Mullah Omar and for his ally, Osama bin Laden, who heads the al-Qaida terror network. News about Mullah Omar’s ability to evade capture was expected to add to frustration among coalition forces and fear among Christians and moderate Muslims as the country is experiencing Taliban related violence. In one of the recent incidents, a Taliban spokesman told the Reuters news agency that guerrillas had slit the throat of Muslim cleric Maulawi Assadullah on June 30 because he was propagating Christianity in the remote Awdand district of Ghazni province. Abdul Latif Hakimi said a group of “Taliban dragged out Maulawi Assadullah and slit his throat with a knife because he was propagating Christianity”. He stressed there was “enough evidence and local accounts to prove that he was involved in the conversions of Muslims to Christianity.” In addition the radical Islamic oriented Taliban group is also trying to stop the democratic process in Afghanistan ahead of upcoming elections later this year, human rights groups and Western officials say.