A senior Taliban commander was captured after being seriously wounded in western Pakistan yesterday, the second big militant catch in two weeks.
Mansoor Dadullah, a former Taliban commander for southern Afghanistan, was captured in a gunfight near Zhob, in Baluchistan province. He was “critically wounded” the army said.
Further north, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan went missing in a tribal area. State television said Tariq Azizuddin had been travelling by car between Peshawar and the Afghan border at the time.
Dadullah rose to prominence after his brother, Mullah Dadullah, was killed by British special forces last May. His death marked a major blow for the Taliban, even if he was something of a renegade. In late December, the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, said Dadullah had been expelled from the movement for insubordination.
Pakistan, meanwhile, is coming under intense American pressure to shut down militant activity inside its borders.
Visitors to Islamabad over the past month have included the CIA’s director, Michael Hayden and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.
On January 29 an American Predator missile strike killed an al-Qaida commander, Abu Laith al-Libi, at a house where he was sheltering in Pakistan’s Waziristan region.