Pakistan News : Afghan authorities Friday revealed that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) second-in-command Latifullah Mehsud was in the custody of US troops, who apprehended him a week earlier.
According to media reports it could be a major blow to the TTP, which has waged a decade-long insurgency from sanctuaries along the Afghan border. They have also helped the Afghan Taliban in their war against US-led Nato troops in Afghanistan.
Latif Mehsud was arrested by American forces as he was driving along a main highway in eastern Logar province’s district of Mohammad Agha, said the Logar governor, Arsallah Jamal. The road links the province with the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Mehsud has served as a senior deputy to Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud.
According to foreign news agencies the TTP confirmed the capture, but claimed Mehsud was seized by the Afghan army at the Ghulam Khan border crossing in the eastern province of Khost on Oct. 5.
He was returning from a meeting to discuss swapping Afghan prisoners for money, said Pakistani Taliban commanders and intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The Pakistani intelligence officials said American forces seized Mehsud while he was with the Afghan army, and that they no longer know where he is.
Mehsud, believed to be around 30 years-old, once served as Hakimullah Mehsud’s driver but eventually worked his way up the ranks to become a trusted deputy. The two are not related and Mehsud is a common name in the region.
Jamal said Mehsud was in a car with two or three other men when the US military arrested him.
The US military in Kabul referred all question to the Department of Defense in Washington. Agencies