Anadolu Agency enters Sengesar village in Taliban heartland
Nearly 300 families still reside in village in Kandahar, where Taliban's founding leader, Mullah Omar, once lived
Anadolu Agency became the first news agency in the world to showcase the Sengesar village, where the Taliban was founded in 1994 under the leadership of Mullah Omar.
An Anadolu Agency team reached the house of the late leader, passing through many checkpoints along the way following the Taliban's takeover of the country.
Nearly 300 families still live in the Taliban heartland of Sengesar village, which is located in the Zhari district, 75 kilometers (over 46 miles) from the urban center of southern Kandahar province.
In Sengesar, there are four important Taliban-related structures, though some of them are little more than ruins, including Mullah Omar's house, the mosque where Omar served as an imam, the madrasah where the Taliban was first established, and the house where one of its prominent leaders, Abdul Ghani Baradar, was born and raised.
Mullah Omar had served as both imam and madrasah teacher in the village.
Locals in the village told Anadolu Agency how the house of Mullah Omar, who did not surrender Osama Bin Laden to the US after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, was destroyed in three separate US air strikes. Today, only a garden wall remains.
Some of the madrasah's walls are still standing after it, too, was destroyed in US attacks. Here, Mullah Omar had held his first meetings with a small number of companions to shape the structure of the group that would become the Taliban.
Adjacent to the mosque was the house where Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy prime minister of the current Taliban government, was born.
Members of the Taliban still stand guard in and around the house as a tribute to the memory of Mullah Omar.
Many Taliban members and civilians died in the region during the periods of conflict and bombardment.
Some of Mullah Omar's living companions told Anadolu Agency about the process of the Taliban's emergence.
"When the Taliban was first established, there were only three heavy weapons. I was also involved in the first attack on a school in Maiwand district of Kandahar," Mohammed Hashim Hashemi told Anadolu Agency.
"We carried out the first attack with 100 people against a group that used a school as a military post in Maiwand and we took control of the school," Mavlavi Muhammad Shah Akhund said.
"After this attack, our name started to be heard and even Afghan students studying in Pakistan came to support us. The number of our members reached nearly 500 in a short time," he added.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz