Top Taliban commander Dadullah arrested in Pakistan

February 11th, 2008 - 9:34 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Feb 11 (ANI): Pakistani security forces have captured and wounded a top Taliban commander, Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, in a shootout on Monday, days after Islamabad denied the presence of Afghan rebels on its soil.

Mansoor Dadullah, the brother of the Islamist movement’s slain military commander in Afghanistan, and seven other rebels were seized in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, the police said.

Dadullah had been in charge of operations against US-led coalition troops in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

“He has been wounded and arrested early this morning. He resisted when our men launched an operation” in the village of Gowal Ismail Zai, Balochistan Police Chief Saud Gohar said.

“We had reports of his presence from intelligence sources… he was hiding in a house in the village,” Gohar added.

One of Dadullah’s guards died of his wounds after a shootout with security forces but the injured commander himself was “out of danger”, he said, dismissing local media reports that Dadullah had died.

A Pakistani military statement gave a different account, confirming that Dadullah was injured but saying that he and five other rebels were seized at a border post while trying to enter Pakistan.

“Taliban Commander Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, while trying to cross the border… was arrested after an exchange of fire with Frontier Corps Balochistan,” it said.

In Kabul, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi welcomed the news of Dadullah’s capture but declined to comment further.

A senior Afghan official said on condition of anonymity that reports received by the government suggested the capture was linked to a dispute between Dadullah and the Taliban’s central command.

Dadullah had succeeded his elder brother — the Taliban’s top most military commander Mullah Dadullah — who was killed in a joint Afghan-NATO operation in southern Afghanistan in May 2007, The News reported. (ANI)

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