Taliban's top military commander captured - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Taliban's top military commander captured

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Taliban's top military commander has reportedly been captured in Pakistan in a joint operation by Pakistani and U.S. intelligence forces.

The New York Times is reporting on its Web site that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been in Pakistan's custody for several days. The newspaper cites U.S. government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pakistan has been leading the interrogation of Baradar, but Americans are also said to be involved.

 The Times describes Baradar as the No. 2 behind Taliban founder and Osama bin Laden associate Mullah Muhammad Omar. Baradar has been running the battlefield command for the Taliban since the 2006 death of Taliban military chief Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Usmani.

The Times said it learned of the operation Thursday but delayed reporting it at the request of White House officials who argued that publicizing it would end a valuable intelligence-gathering effort by making Baradar's associates aware of his capture. The newspaper said it decided to publish the news after White House officials acknowledged Baradar's capture was becoming widely known in the region.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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