Taliban formally confirm leader demise inside Afghanistan
Zabihullah Mujahed, the group's spokesman, said in a short statement: “the family of the deceased Mullah Omar has announced that he has died of illness.”
Mujahed added Omar, during his 14-year struggle against the US and its allies, had been living living inside the country and never travelled to Pakistan even for a single day.
He said that prayer ceremonies will be held in parts of the country for the departed soul for three days. Omar’s brother Mullah Abdul Manan Akhund and son Muhammad Yaqoob urged Muslims to forgive if their rights had been trampled during Taliban's rule.
However, the statement did not clarify when the Taliban’s supreme leader had died. Earlier, the had claimed the reclusive leader had died in April 2013 in Pakistan.
A statement from the Presidential Palace said: “The government of Afghanistan believes that the ground for the Afghan peace talks is more paved now than before, and thus calls on all armed opposition groups to seize the opportunity and join the peace process.”
On Wednesday, Syed Zafar Hashmi, the president’s deputy spokesman, told a crowded press conference here they had received information regarding the demise of Mullah Omar through media sources.
As and when confirmed, he promised, the government would share accurate information with media and the Afghan nation. He said they were still in the process of looking at the reports.
Later, a press statement from the Afghan Presidential Palace stated: "The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan."
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