State Department Confirms US Troops Capture Senior Pakistan Taliban Leader
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The State Department is confirming that American troops are holding a senior Pakistani Taliban commander in Afghanistan.
Afghan officials and the Pakistani Taliban say Latif Mehsud was captured last week in eastern Afghanistan, but their accounts differ on the exact date and location and who captured him.
The State Department describes Mehsud as a trusted confidant of the leader of the group TTP, which has claimed responsibility for the failed 2010 attempt to detonate a bomb in New York's Times Square.
Pakistani Taliban commanders and intelligence officials say Mehsud was returning from a meeting to discuss swapping Afghan prisoners for money when he was captured.
The news surfaced as Secretary of State John Kerry was in Kabul trying to negotiate the terms of a U.S.-Afghan security agreement that would govern the activities of American forces in Afghanistan after the NATO-led combat mission ends at the close of next year.