The Taliban's leader Mullah Mohammad Omar died two years ago in a Pakistani hospital, Afghanistan's intelligence agency has claimed.
The statement by National Directorate of Security spokesman Hasib Sediqi came after the Afghan government said it was investigating reports of Omar's death, just days ahead of an expected second round of peace talks with the Taliban.
The NDS has previously said privately that its intelligence indicated Omar was dead, but it has not provided proof.
A former Taliban minister has told ITV News that Mullah Mohammad Omar is dead.
He said Omar died more than two years ago from a disease which was possibly tuberculosis and is buried in Afghanistan, close to the border with Pakistan.
Reports that Mullah Mohammad Omar have been met with scepticism in the Pakistan military ahead of with peace talks with the Afghan government.
A senior official from the Pakistani military, which historically has close ties to the Afghan Taliban and other Islamist militant groups in the region, said he could not confirm Omar's death.
"It is worth asking why this news has come out now, when we are two days away from the second round of peace talks," said the official.
"Especially in light of reports that he died two years ago... why is this news being released now? It raises questions about the intentions of people who don't want talks to go forward."
The Afghanistan government has said it is investigating reports that the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar is dead.
In a press conference in Kabul, a Government spokesman said: "We are still in the process of assessing those reports."
The announcement followed reports in Afghan local media that Omar, who has not been since 2001, was dead but have died as long as two years ago. Some of the reports also indicated Mullah Omar's son was in a position to take over the Islamist insurgency that is fighting against Afghanistan's foreign-backed government.
Omar went into hiding 14 years ago after his government was forced from power by the US-led Coalition following the 911 attacks in the USA.
The Taliban has yet to comment on the claims.
A Briton was among 14 people killed in a siege at an Afghan guesthouse, the government has confirmed, as the Taliban claims responsibility.Read the full story ›
The school that was the scene of a brutal Taliban massacre reopened today.
Pakistani children and their parents returned to the Army Public School in Peshawar where Taliban gunmen killed 150 of their classmates and teachers - one of the worst attacks the country has ever endured.
Most schools across the country have been shut for an extended winter break in the aftermath of the December 16 attack.
A senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack near the country's border with India.
Two Taliban suicide bombers attacked the Afghan capital this morning, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 15, government officials said.
The Taliban, fighting to oust foreign forces and the US-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attacks in the east and west of Kabul.
"Double martyrdom attack has rocked #Kabul city this morning amid current year's ongoing #Khaibar operation," the Taliban said on Twitter, referring to their yearly summer fighting offensive.
Officials from Afghanistan and the United States signed a deal on Tuesday allowing American troops to stay in the country after the end of the year, filling a campaign promise by new President Ashraf Ghani.
A group of Taliban militants responsible for shooting Malala Yousufzai, a teenage activist targeted for her campaign against the terrorist group's efforts to deny girls education, have been arrested, Pakistan's army said.
Taliban activists claimed responsibility for shooting Malala in 2012 for her advocacy of women's right to education but no one had been arrested until now.
Two other schoolgirls were also injured in the attack.
The Pakistani army's head of press Asim Bajwa told reporters 10 attackers had been identified and arrested.
Malala survived the attack after being airlifted to Britain for treatment and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
The Pakistani army has launched what it calls a "comprehensive operation" to wipe out Islamist militants in the North Waziristan region.
It follows last week's attack on an airport in the city of Karachi, for which the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility.
An air strike on militant bases last night was claimed to have killed about 100 militants, many of whom are thought to have been foreign fighters.
"Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and colour, along with their sanctuaries," the army said in a statement.