Pakistani security officials say they have arrested a former senior
Taliban figure who was released by Afghanistan in 2007 in exchange for
a kidnapped Italian journalist.
Authorities today (Saturday) said they detained Ustad
Mohammed Yasir, a former spokesman for Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in
the northwestern city of Peshawar near the Afghan border. It is unclear
when the arrest occurred.
Yasir served as Omar's spokesman after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan ousted the Taliban regime in 2001.
Pakistan first arrested the former spokesman in 2005 and sent him to
Afghanistan, but he and four other Taliban were released in exchange
for the freedom of Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo.
Separately today, Pakistani officials say a roadside bomb attack killed
two soldiers and wounded at least three others in southwestern
Baluchistan province. Elsewhere in Baluchistan, police say suspected
militants threw a hand grenade at an army vehicle, killing a civilian
bystander and wounding at least seven others.
Ethnic Baluch tribesmen have been waging an insurgency in Baluchistan
to press for a greater share of profits from the region's natural
resources. Taliban militants also are known to be active in the
Many Taliban and al-Qaida militants fled into Pakistan after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.
The United States has pushed Pakistan to crack down on the militants,
who have regrouped in the country's lawless tribal areas and launch
frequent cross-border attacks against U.S. and NATO forces in
Afghanistan. Militants also have stepped up attacks on the Western
forces' supply route, which goes through Pakistan.