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US says senior Taliban commander captured

The US State Department said Mehsud was a senior Taliban leader [AP]United States military forces have captured Latif Mehsud, a senior commander with the Pakistani Taliban, the US State Department has said but it declined comment on when it happened.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Friday that US forces had apprehended Mehsud, whom she described as a senior commander of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

The Pentagon said Mehsud was captured in a US military operation in Afghanistan, but the Washington Post newspaper reported on Friday that he was forcibly snatched from an Afghan government convoy in Logar province several weeks ago as Afghan officials were trying to recruit him to launch peace talks.

The Pakistani Taliban confirmed the capture, but said Mehsud was seized by the Afghan army at the Ghulam Khan border crossing in the eastern province of Khost on October 5.

Mehsud is a deputy to Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

The Post said the incident enraged the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, and had contributed to a chill in US-Afghan relations at a time when US officials were pressing for a deal to let a small force of US troops remain in Afghanistan after 2014.


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