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Pakistani Taliban confirm arrest of key commander

English.news.cn   2014-07-16 13:57:26

ISLAMABAD, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Taliban reportedly confirmed Wednesday the arrest by security forces of their senior commander, Adnan Rashid, who was convicted of trying to assassinate former president Pervez Musharraf and was also one of the many inmates who escaped from a prison in 2012.

Reports earlier suggested that Rashid was arrested by the Pakistani army in Shakai area of South Waziristan this week. He was reportedly injured in an earlier strike in North Waziristan and was arrested after fleeing the ongoing airstrikes in the region.

The army has not yet confirmed the arrest, but section of the Pakistani media has reported the arrest.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has confirmed that Adnan Rashid was arrested, Geo television reported.

The TTP accused a splinter Taliban group in South Waziristan of passing the information to the security forces, which eventually led to the arrest of Rashid. The Mullah Nazir group in South Waziristan is considered pro-government. The group's leader Mullah Nazir was killed in a U.S. drone attack last year.

Sources said that Rashid was shifted to an undisclosed location through a helicopter.

The TTP has distributed a pamphlet in parts of South Waziristan, saying they would take revenge of the arrest of their leader.

If officially confirmed, it would become the biggest success of the Pakistani forces since they have launched major operation against local and foreign militants in North Waziristan.

Adnan Rashid, a former engineer of Pakistan Air Force, was awarded death penalty for his role in the assassination attempt on the life of Pervez Musharraf in 2003. However, he was freed along with nearly 400 people in a Taliban jailbreak in 2012.

He was behind a jail attack in August last year, in which the Taliban freed 175 prisoners including 35 senior militants.

Rashid has featured regularly in videos released by the Taliban and in a last-year video, he was seen training Taliban fighters to attack Musharraf, before openly threatening him on camera.

Rashid wrote a letter to Malala Yousafzai, a school girl, who was shot in the head by the Taliban, saying that he wished that the attack had not happened, but told her that she was targeted because she speaks against the Taliban.

Editor: Fu Peng
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