Mullah Omar, is he dead or alive? Preferably, the latter. Omar was the leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan who was wanted by the United States for sheltering al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden for years prior to the 9/11 attacks. The Afghan government has confirmed Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has been dead since 2013; however, the Afghan president’s and prime minister’s offices offered no specifics as to how or when Omar died. However, final confirmation is needed.
The Afghan government confirmed Wednesday it was looking into reports that longtime Taliban leader Mullah Omar had died.
“We have also seen reports in the media on the death of Mullah Omar, we are assessing those reports,” President Ashraf Ghani’s deputy spokesperson Zafar Hashemi told journalists during a press conference.
Rumors have swirled for years that the one-eyed leader of the militant group that ruled Afghanistan until being toppled by U.S.-backed forces 2001 had passed away. The State Department was offering a $10-million reward for information leading to him.
Earlier Wednesday, an Afghan intelligence official told NBC News the government had come to the conclusion Omar had died.
The source who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity said that the issue of Mullah Omar’s death was raised at a meeting with security ministers and members of the country’s high peace council, which is negotiating with the militants.
Radio Free Europe – Afghan Officials Says Taliban Leader Mullah Omar Dead.
Zafar Hashemi, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, told reporters in Kabul on July 29: “We have received reports about Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s death. At this point, we can’t confirm or deny it. We are assessing the reports.”
There was no immediate reaction to the reports by Afghanistan’s Taliban.
The Taliban’s official spokesmen have repeatedly denied previous reports of Mullah Omar’s death.
But Fidai Mahaz, a splinter group of the Taliban that does not support peace talks with the Afghan government, announced last week earlier that Mullah Omar was dead and had been replaced by Taliban deputy leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur.
The reports of Mullah Omar’s death by authorities in Kabul comes at a critical time, with a second round of peace talks between Taliban representatives and Afghan government negotiators scheduled in Pakistan on July 31.