Pakistan makes third arrest from Taliban most-wanted list: Army | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan makes third arrest from Taliban most-wanted list: Army

world Updated: Sep 16, 2009 16:50 IST

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Pakistan said soldiers on Wednesday arrested a third man from a list of most-wanted Taliban commanders in the Swat valley that offered hundreds of thousands of dollars in reward money.

Sher Muhammad Qasab was the alleged local Taliban commander in Charbagh, in the heart of the former tourist region where the military launched a major assault this summer to defeat a deadly two-year Islamist insurgency.

Qasab, who with 15 other Taliban commanders in the northwest district had a price on his head of 10 million rupees (around 120,000 dollars), was "seriously injured" and "arrested in a military operation," the army said in a statement.

Military officials in the northwest city of Peshawar confirmed his arrest.

"Troops encircled him from days. His three sons were also killed on Monday during the operation," a military official told AFP.

Last Friday, Pakistan announced the arrest of the Taliban spokesman in Swat, Muslim Khan, and another commander from the list of 16 most-wanted people headed by the architect of the Swat uprising, Maulana Fazlullah.

The mountain valley slipped out of government control after radical cleric Fazlullah rose up in July 2007, commanding thousands of followers who beheaded opponents, burnt schools and fought to enforce Islamic law.

Pakistan launched a blistering offensive against the Taliban after militants marched out of Swat and advanced to within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of the capital Islamabad in April. The military now says the area is clear.