Helmands senior most Taleban leader arrested in QuettaJuly 24th, 2008 - 12:22 pm ICT by ANI
Islamabad, July 24 (ANI): Pakistani security forces have arrested a senior Afghan Taleban commander in Quetta.
Mullah Rahim is said to be the senior most Taleban leader in Afghanistans Helmand province.
The Times quoted British commanders in Afghanistan as saying that Rahim gave himself up on Saturday.
The issue was so sensitive that Pakistani security officials would neither confirm nor deny the capture of Mullah Rahim just as they have never acknowledged the arrest of other high-ranking insurgents in the past.
Tony Cousins, a spokesman for British Forces in Helmand, called it a breakthrough and said that it would not affect the fighting capability of the Taleban immediately, but that it would impair their long-term strategic planning.
This is going to cause major problems for the Taleban. Theyve got gaps to fill and no one to fill those gaps, he said.
The British statement also said that a missile strike just after midnight on Sunday killed Abdul Rasaq, a Taleban leader who led fighters in the Musa Qala area of Helmand province.
Rasaq, also known as Mullah Sheikh, was the third senior Taleban leader whom British Forces claim to have killed in recent months.
The other two were Bishmullah, a key Taleban strategist killed on July 12, and Sadiqullah, a planner and bomb-maker killed in June.
Gulab Mangal, the governor of Helmand, said that the death of Rasaq was good news for his province the centre of the opium trade and the Taleban insurgency in Afghanistan.
The precise command structure and strength of the Taleban remains unclear, according to British military officials.
The Islamic movements Government was toppled by a US-led invasion in 2001, but it has regrouped and started a fierce insurgency since British Forces deployed in Helmand in 2006. (ANI)
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