29/07/2015 06:46 BST | Updated 29/07/2015 16:59 BST

Taliban Leader Mullah Omar 'Died In A Pakistani Hospital Two Years Ago', Security Officials Reveal

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.

Taliban leader Mullah Omar has reportedly died, Afghan government officials have said

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.

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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