Afghan government confirms death of Taliban leader

Death of Mullah Mohammed Omar affirmed by Afghanistan government sources

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Sep 28, 2015

The Afghan government has confirmed the death of Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in a written statement from the office of Afghan president.

"The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan," said the statement.

"The government of Afghanistan believes that grounds for the Afghan peace talks are more paved now than before, and thus calls on all armed opposition groups to seize the opportunity and join the peace process."

Afghan minister declared Mullah Omar had allegedly died two years ago from tuberculosis, after denying the claim earlier.

“Mullah Omar died two years and four months ago owing to tuberculosis. He has been buried on the Afghan side of the border,” the Express Tribune said citing an Afghan minister.

Taliban is yet to confirm or deny the death but is expected to make a statement soon.

Another government official told AA that a meeting would take place on Tuesday to talk about how Mullah Omar’s death would affect the peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Mullah Omar, has been on the US wanted list with a bounty of $10 million by the US State Department.

Taliban supreme leader’s cooperation with former Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks prompted US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2011.

Afghan media in 2011 reported the death of Mullah Omar, however this was later dismissed by Pakistani officials. Taliban later stated that their phones had been hacked and messages claiming Omar’s death were sent out.

Nearly two weeks ago, a message claimed to be from Mullah Omar, expressing his support for “legitimate” peace talks with the government appeared on the Taliban’s website.

The message was published just before the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

"If we look into our religious regulations, we can find that meetings and even peaceful interactions with the enemies is not prohibited," the message reads.

Omar’s controversial message also urged Muslim leaders to unite and continue fighting until all foreign troops leave Afghanistan, adding that the talks aim to "bring an end to the occupation."

The Afghan government after being elected in 2014, is on a peace process with Taliban.

TRTWorld and agencies