NATO officials in Afghanistan say their troops have captured a suspected senior Taliban field commander.
The International Security Assistance Force announced Sunday that
soldiers have detained a man they identified as Mullah Sakhi Dad. They
said troops captured Sakhi Dad, known locally as Mullah Mujahid, along
with another insurgent in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province on Wednesday.
NATO officials say they believe Mujahid led a "significant number" of
Taliban fighters. He is reportedly the brother-in-law of Mullah Omar, a
top Taliban commander.
A high-ranking official in Afghanistan's Interior Ministry told VOA
Mujahid was behind a number of suicide attacks in and around the
provincial capital, Tirin Kot.
The official said Mujahid had broken a promise to sever ties with the
Taliban and reconcile with the government after a previous arrest and
release in 2004.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan's defense minister says the U.S. military has
pledged to take steps to reduce civilian casualties from aerial attacks
Abdul Rahim Wardak also says the international community has authorized
an increase in the size of the Afghan army to 134-thousand soldiers.
There are currently more than 60-thousand foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Separately, "The Sunday Times" newspaper in London quotes the British
commander in Afghanistan as also saying the Taliban cannot be defeated
on the battlefield. Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith told the newspaper
that a political settlement is the best way to bring an end to the
The British government on Saturday denied that it believes the military campaign will fail.