Afghanistan investigate claims reclusive Taliban leader has been killed
The Afghan government is investigating reports of the death of Taliban supremo Mullah Omar, a presidential spokesman said Wednesday, amid frenzied speculation about the rumoured demise of the reclusive warrior-cleric.
The Taliban have not officially confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, who has not been seen publicly since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban government in Kabul.
His ill-health or even death have regularly been rumoured in the past.
The announcement from spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi came after unnamed government and militant sources told media that the one-eyed leader died two or three years ago.
"We have seen reports in the media regarding the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar," Hashemi told a press conference.
"We are investigating these reports... and will comment once the accuracy of these reports are confirmed."
Wednesday's reports come just two days before a second round of peace talks between the insurgents and Afghan government representatives which are expected to take place in Pakistan.
If confirmed, Omar's death would mark a significant blow to an almost 14-year insurgency, which is riven by internal divisions and threatened by the rise of the Islamic State group in South Asia.