The group had continued as recently as July to release official statements in the name of Omar, who had not been seen in public since the Taliban were toppled from power in Kabul in 2001. They confirmed on July 30 that he had died but did not say when, deepening internal divisions as many insurgents accused the leadership of covering up his death for two years.
    
A Taliban statement today admitted for the first time that he died on April 23, 2013. The detail was buried in a biography of new leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, Omar's longtime deputy.
    
"Several key members of the supreme leading council of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) and authentic religious scholars together decided on concealing the tragic news of passing away of (Omar)... and keep this secret limited to the very few colleagues who were already informed of this incorrigible loss," the biography said.
    
Some top leaders including Omar's son and brother have refused to pledge allegiance to new leader Mansour, saying the process to select him was rushed and biased.

 

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