Mullah Omar death reports credible: White House
"We are aware of reports of the death of Mullah Omar. Without commenting on the specifics of these reports, we do believe the reports of his death are credible," the White House spokesperson said.
However, he refused to comment on the specifics surrounding his death, Eric Schultz told reporters at his daily news conference. He said the US intelligence community was looking at the reports and continued to assess the circumstances around Omar's death.
“But beyond that, I'm not going to be in a position here to speak candidly about what we know at this point,” he said, adding the United States believed the Taliban had an opportunity to make genuine peace with the Afghan government and rebuild their lives in peace.
“They can accept the government's invitation to join a peace process and ultimately become part of the legitimate political system in Afghanistan, or they can choose to continue fighting Afghans and destabilizing their own country,” he said referring to the peace talks between the Taliban and the Government of Afghanistan.
“The United States does continue to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. It's the surest way to end violence in the region,” Schultz said.
Also on Wednesday, the Afghan spy service spokesman Abdul Haseeb Sediqi said: "I can confirm Mullah Omar is dead. According to our intelligence, Omar died in a hospital in Pakistan a couple of years ago."
The Presidential Palace in Kabul hastened to endorse the NDS version. "The government, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban, died in April 2013 in Pakistan," it said blandly about the remarkably tough guy, hated and hunted in vain by tens of thousands of well-equipped troops.
In a statement, the government claimed the environment for the peace process “is now more favourable than before”. It called on all armed opposition groups to seize the opportunity and jump on the reconciliation bandwagon, a call that failed to evoke an immediate response.
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