Originally posted on TIME:
(KABUL, Afghanistan) — The Afghan Taliban have released a statement purportedly from the family of Mullah Omar saying he has died of an unspecified illness.
The statement, emailed to The Associated Press on Thursday, didn’t say when he died.
It followed an announcement from the Kabul government the day before. Senior Taliban figures have also told the AP that Mullah Omar died.
The statement says it’s being issued in the name of Mullah Omar’s brother, Mullah Abdul Manan, and his son, Mohammad Yaqub. It apologizes for “any mistakes Mullah Omar (made) during his rule of Afghanistan.” It also asks all Afghans and Muslims to forgive any mistakes Mullah Omar made as leader of the Taliban.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until they were overthrown in a U.S-led invasion in 2001.