Deposed Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has escaped from his mountain hideout in Afghanistan on a motorbike, according to unconfirmed reports.
Anti-Taliban forces had closed in on Baghran, north of Kandahar, where Mullah Omar was believed to be hiding protected by 1,500 fighters.
But he managed to flee on a motorbike with four of his men, an Afghan official told the BBC.
The country's head of intelligence in Kandahar, Haji Gulalai, said that other Taliban fighters had surrendered to anti-Taliban forces, the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, in eastern Afghanistan, US warplanes pounded an al-Qa'ida compound and training ground near the town of Khost for the second day.