Fresh reports surfaced Wednesday indicating that the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, has died. The militant group is expected to put out a statement on this soon.
According to a BBC report that quoted Abdul Hassib Seddiqi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, Omar had died of health issues at a Pakistan hospital two years ago.
"We confirm officially that he is dead," Seddiqi told The Associated Press.
While there have been several such reports in the past of Omar's death, there has been no confirmation so far. Even though Omar has not been seen in public for several years now, Taliban has refuted such claims in the past.
Earlier this year, the Taliban had released a 5,000 words document, where they claimed that the Afghan leader was "alive and well". Even last week, he had reportedly released a message on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday.
Meanwhile earlier today the Afghan government had said that it was investigating these reports of the Taliban leader's death.
"We are aware of the reports of the passing of Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader," Sayed Zafar Hashemi, a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, told reporters on Wednesday.
"We are still in the process of verifying those reports, and as soon as we get any more accurate information or identification ... we will let the media and the people of Afghanistan know about it."
A former Afghan Taliban minister and member of the central leadership council told The Express Tribune on Wednesday that Omar died over two years ago from tuberculosis.
“Mullah Omar died two years and four months ago owing to Tuberculosis. He has been buried on Afghan side of the border,” the newspaper quoted the former minister saying, on the condition of anonymity. He also said that Omar's son had already identified his father's body.