The Afghan Taliban have issued a statement saying that they are "not aware" of a new round of peace talks that had been expected to take place in Pakistan on Friday.

The statement appears to indicate the Taliban will not participate in the second round of the official face-to-face talks with the Afghan government.

It was not immediately clear if they were completely pulling out of the talks, which began earlier in July.

The statement was emailed to The Associated Press on Thursday, a day after the Kabul government announced the reclusive Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has been dead for more than two years.

President Ashraf Ghani's office said the announcement would strengthen conditions for peace talks.

The Taliban have been fighting to overthrow the Kabul government since 2001.