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Afghan Taliban Rejects Reports Of Renewed Peace Talks

A member of the Afghan security forces stands guard on a roadside as security is increased following reports of the death of Mullah Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, in Kabul, on July 29.

The Taliban has rejected reports that a fresh round of peace talks has been planned with the Afghan government this week.

Citing media reports that peace talks would take place soon in China or Pakistan, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a July 30 statement that the Taliban political office which is empowered to conduct negotiations was "not aware of any such process."

Afghan negotiators told RFE/RL this week that Pakistan would host a second round of peace talks on July 31 between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives.

But the prospects of those talks taking place has been unclear since Kabul announced on July 29 that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar died two years ago from an illness at a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.

The Taliban spokesman's statement did to mention the death of Mullah Omar nor the divisions between rival Taliban factions that would be exacerbated by Mullah Omar's death.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP