Posted by: Chuck | October 13, 2013

News for Flash from Afghanistan

US says captured top Pakistani Taliban leader –  American troops have captured a senior leader of the Pakistani Taliban, a US official said Friday, in what could prove a major blow to the group amid moves to boost peace efforts in Afghanistan. “I can confirm that US forces did capture… terrorist leader Latif Mehsud in a military operation,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said, describing him as a senior commander in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). She gave no details of the operation and did not say where or when his capture took place, as the news filtered out during a surprise visit to Kabul by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Pentagon officials, however, said Mehsud was still inside Afghanistan, without specifying where. “As part of the armed conflict against Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces, authorized by Congress in the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, Mehsud was captured and is being lawfully held by US military forces in Afghanistan,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Elissa Smith. The Washington Post reported, however, that he had been seized recently in eastern Afghanistan, and was snatched away from Afghan intelligence operatives who had been trying to recruit him as a possible go-between for the struggling reconciliation efforts between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban. US officials would not immediately comment on the report.



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