Zahid Hussain, Jerome Starkey and Jeremy Page
Feb 17 2010
The Afghan Taleban’s top military commander has been captured in Karachi in a secret raid by intelligence agents of Pakistan and the United States, according to official reports from both countries. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar — described as the most significant Taleban figure captured since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 — was arrested in a joint operation in the Pakistani city about ten days ago, they said.
A senior Pakistani army officer told The Times that Mullah Baradar had been seized in a Karachi slum populated mainly by ethnic Pashtuns from Pakistan and Afghanistan. “The only thing we can say at the moment is that he is in our custody,” the officer said.
Mullah Baradar, 42, was believed to be second or third in command to Mullah Omar, the Afghan Taleban’s supreme leader, and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before 9/11.
US officials hope that he could now provide clues to the whereabouts of the Taleban chief, who is thought to have given him the nickname of Baradar — meaning brother — as a sign of trust.
This article was posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 9:19 am