Thursday 25 February 2010

More senior Afghan Taliban arrested in Pakistan

Anand Gopal of the Christian Science Monitor is reporting that almost half of the Afghan Taliban's 15-strong leadership council has been arrested in Pakistan in the last week. In addition to the well publicised capture of Quetta Shura members Mullah Abdul Ghani Barodar, Maulavi Abdul Kabir, Mullah Mohammad Younis and two provincial governors, he says the other arrested leaders include: Mullah Abdul Qayoum Zakir, who oversees the movement’s military affairs, Mullah Muhammad Hassan, Mullah Ahmed Jan Akhunzada, and Mullah Abdul Raouf.
Gopal's report seems well sourced, coming from two Pakistani intelligence officials and a senior UN official. Clearly something serious is going on. Watch this space.
Meanwhile it is also being reported that Pakistan has agreed to hand over Mullah Barodar to Afghan custody. The move followed a visit to Islamabad by the FBI director Robert Mueller, who is believe to have convinced the Pakistanis to take this course of action.

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