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Afghan official says government examining claims reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead

  • FILE - In this undated image released by the FBI, Mullah Omar is seen in a wanted poster. An Afghan official says his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached for comment on the government’s comments about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before. (FBI via AP, File)

    FILE - In this undated image released by the FBI, Mullah Omar is seen in a wanted poster. An Afghan official says his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached for comment on the government’s comments about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before. (FBI via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this undated image released by the FBI, Mullah Omar is seen in a wanted poster. An Afghan official says his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached for comment on the government’s claims about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before.  (FBI via AP, File)

    FILE - In this undated image released by the FBI, Mullah Omar is seen in a wanted poster. An Afghan official says his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached for comment on the government’s claims about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before. (FBI via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Zafar Hashemi, a deputy spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. An Afghan official said Wednesday his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached on the government's comments about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    Zafar Hashemi, a deputy spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. An Afghan official said Wednesday his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached on the government's comments about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

An Afghan official says his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached for comment on the government's comments about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before.

Omar, the one-eyed, secretive head of the Taliban and an al-Qaida ally, led a bloody insurgency against U.S.-led forces after they toppled him from his rule in Afghanistan in 2001.

Zafar Hashemi, a deputy spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, made the announcement at a news conference Wednesday in Kabul.

A Pakistani security official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to brief journalists, called the circling rumors "speculation" designed to disrupt peace talks.

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Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report.