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Taliban commander held in east Afghanistan

world Updated:

Afghan security forces backed by NATO-led troops captured a "known" Taliban commander and one of his associates in eastern Afghanistan, a military official said on Thursday.

The militants, Mullah Khair Gul and his deputy Mullah Amin Gul, were captured following a brief exchange of fire in Gayan district, eastern Paktika province late on Wednesday, local military commander General Akram Sameh told the agency.

"Mullah Khair Gul was a known Taliban commander in the region. We were looking for this individual," Sameh said.

He said that an unknown number of militants who resisted Gul's capture fled the area and that security forces were chasing them into nearby mountains.

Sameh added that troops from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force helped his soldiers capture the rebels.

Paktika, which borders Pakistan, is one of the most insurgency-hit regions in eastern Afghanistan, where militants carry out regular attacks on Western and Afghan forces.

Dozens of rebels, including some Al-Qaeda-linked foreign militants, were killed in a series of army-led operations in the area late last year.