Taliban Deny Rumours That Leader Is Dead

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Written By Farid Shojaei

New rumours are circulating about the alleged death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

The government in the capital Kabul has released a statement confirming that the rumours are under investigation.

The information is believed to come from highly-placed figures within the Afghan government and intelligence agency.

This is not the first time the charismatic but reclusive leader has been reported dead.

About two years ago, he was said to have dies, but the Taliban claimed this was untrue.

However, Mullah Omar has not been seen in public since then. His only communication with the outside world has been by messages posted on Taliban controlled web sites.

Quest for truth

The Afghan government are determined to reveal the truth of the rumours this time as ministers are in negotiations with the Taliban with a view to strengthening the ongoing peace process.

The Taliban commented that Mullah Omar was still alive and leading the movement, while supporters in Pakistan have denied the reports as ‘speculation’.

Mullah Omar is a key figure in Afghan politics and the politics of terrorism.

His alliance with Al-Qaida led to the US/UK invasion of Afghan in 2001 after a series of terror attacks in the States and around the world.

Mullah Omar is said to have been born in Afghanistan in 1960.

During the 1980s he fought against the Russian occupation of the country and was wounded in action by shrapnel.

Later, he allied with Osama Bin Laden and took over as leader of the Taliban in 1996.

$10 million bounty

The US alliance overturned his government and since then, he has been on the run with a $10 million dead-or-alive bounty on his head.

The Taliban has released occasional messages said to come from Mullah Omar. The latest claimed he supported the peace talks between the group and the Afghan government.

However, is has played no part in the talks and has not been seen for years.

His lack of participation in recent events has fuelled rumours that he is dead and led to other Taliban leaders siding with the Islamic State in the Middle East and North Africa.

The fear for politicians in Afghanistan is that now the threat from the Taliban seems to be drawing to a close, new alliances with ISIL could lead to further violence and turmoil in a seemingly lawless country which always seems simmering on the edge of civil war.