The Taliban has denied a report in the Afghan press that leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has been killed in neighbouring Pakistan, saying he is alive and in Afghanistan.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the Associated Press that Monday's report is "absolutely wrong".
He said: "It's only propaganda and we completely deny these rumours. He is inside Afghanistan and he is busy directing military operations with his commanders."
Afghan news channel Tolo quoted an anonymous Afghan intelligence official as saying that Omar had been killed in Pakistan.
There has been much speculation that the US might ramp up efforts to kill or capture the reclusive, one-eyed Taliban leader after the successful strike against Osama bin Laden.
President Barack Obama has said he would order another covert military raid if it was necessary to stop terrorist attacks.
Most of those with knowledge of the Taliban organisation say Omar is hiding in southern Pakistan, around Quetta or Karachi.
The Tolo news channel quoted an anonymous Afghan intelligence official as saying Omar had been shot dead in Pakistan while being moved from Quetta to North Waziristan with the help of former Pakistani intelligence chief General Hamid Gul.
North Waziristan is a tribal area home to militants whose primary focus is attacking US and Nato troops across the border in Afghanistan.
A Pakistani intelligence official said there was no information to suggest the report of Omar's death was true. General Gul told the AP the story was false, adding: "This is propaganda, sheer deception, disinformation."