Kabul investigating reports of Taliban leader death: Official
A senior Afghan official says Kabul is investigating recent reports that the secretive leader of the Taliban militant group, Mullah Omar, has died.
Zafar Hashemi, a deputy spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, made the statement at a news conference in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, reports said Afghan government and intelligence sources have confirmed that the Taliban leader had died two to three years ago.
Afghanistan’s Khaama news agency also reported that Pakistani officials have confirmed Mullah Omar’s death.
“We are aware of the reports of the passing away of Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader,” Hashemi said, adding, “We are still in the process of checking those reports, and as soon as we get confirmation or verification, we will inform the Afghan people and the media.”
The Taliban has not yet made any statements on the death of its one-eyed leader. The militant group has reportedly said that it will release a statement on the issue shortly.
The reclusive leader’s death has made headlines several times in the past.
As the head of the Taliban regime, Mullah Omar was Afghanistan’s de facto head of state from 1996 to 2001, and went into hiding following the US-led invasion of the country.