The Taliban says one of its senior leaders has died after a battle with cancer.
In a statement on February 9, the Taliban said Mullah Muhammad Hassan Rahmani died late on February 8.
The Taliban did not say where Rahmani died, although militant sources have been quoted as saying he died in the Pakistani city of Quetta, where the Taliban leadership is believed to reside.
The death of Rahmani, who was in his mid-fifties and a member of the Taliban's leadership council, could harm the peace process between the militant group and the Afghan government.
Afghan officials met Rahmani in China last year in an effort to open direct dialogue with the militants.
Rahmani rose to prominence as a mujahedin commander during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s and later became the governor of Kandahar province, the Taliban's birthplace, when the militants ruled the country from 1996 to 2001.