Taliban leader Mullah Omar died in a Pakistan hospital over two years ago, according to security officials.
Abdul Hassib Seddiqi, the spokesman for Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, said Wednesday that Omar died in a hospital in Karachi in April 2013.
"We confirm officially that he is dead," he told The Associated Press.
The confirmation comes two days before the Afghan government and the Taliban are to hold their second round of official peace talks in Pakistan.
Earlier today Afghanistan 1 TV quoted an unnamed security official as saying Omar, who went into hiding after his Taliban government was driven from power in 2001, had died.
The BBC said Omar's death had occurred two to three years ago and said a Taliban spokesman had told it them it would issue a statement shortly.
The death claim was echoed in a tweet by BBC PTV Afghanistan chief correspondent Harun Najafizada, who went on to suggest that officials were moving to begin negotiations with the Taliban.
#BREAKING: Two reliable sources in the Afghan National Unity Government tell me that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is dead.— Harun Najafizada (@HNajafizada) July 29, 2015
#AFG negotiation team member now tells us that they will travel to Pakistan tomorrow to hold second round of talks with TalibanJuly 29, 2015
A press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon called by Sayed Zafar Hashemi, the president of Afghanistan's deputy spokesman, added weight to speculation Omar had died.
Media colleagues, please come to GMIC at 2:30p Kabul time for a press statement— Sayed Zafar Hashemi (@ZafarHashemi) July 29, 2015
This isn't the first time Omar's death has been reported. In 2011 Afghani media reported that he had been killed, however, the report was later dismissed by Pakistani officials.
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