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Taliban Spokesman Denies Claims of Leader Mullah Omar’s Death

© AP Photo / Rahmat GulTaliban fighters hold their heavy and light weapons before surrendering them to Afghan authorities in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. File photo
Taliban fighters hold their heavy and light weapons before surrendering them to Afghan authorities in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. File photo - Sputnik International
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A Taliban spokesman on Wednesday denied media reports claiming that the Afghan militant group’s leader, Mullah Omar, was dead.

Afghan security forces - Sputnik International
Afghan Officials Report Taliban Group Leader Mullah Omar Dead
MOSCOW (Sputnik) Afghan and Pakistani authorities said earlier that Omar, who had led the Taliban insurgency since the 1990s, died at least two years ago. The reclusive Taliban commander has not been seen in public since the early 2000s. His son, Mullah Yaqoob, is rumored to be in line for the leadership.

However, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, told Sky News he had information that "Mullah Omar is still alive and leading the movement."

The Taliban is reportedly due to issue an official statement on Omar’s alleged death soon, according to the BBC.

Omar’s alliance with al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden prompted a US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.

Omar’s death was first reported in 2011, the same year that Bin Laden was killed in a US raid in Pakistan.

Formed in the 1990s, the Taliban seeks to enforce Sharia law in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The group is known for its numerous terrorist attacks against official personnel and civilians in both countries.

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