Latif Mehsud Seized by US Military
The London Telegraph
The US snatched a senior Pakistani Taliban leader out of the hands of Afghan intelligence agents who were in the middle of a delicate attempt to recruit him, according to the Afghan government.
The US confirmed that it had captured Latif Mehsud, a top commander in Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), but refused to say how he came into American custody.
Afghan officials claimed he had been seized as he drove in a government convoy in eastern Afghanistan in a move that threatens to further inflame the strained relationship between Washington and Kabul.
"The Americans forcibly removed him and took him to Bagram," a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai told the Washington Post, referring to a US base in Afghanistan.
The Afghan government had hoped that Mehsud could act as an intermediary in the ongoing peace talks between the Karzai government and the Taliban, the spokesman said.
"I can confirm that US forces did capture ... terrorist leader Latif *Mehsud*," said Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman.
She gave no details of the operation and did not say where or when his capture took place.
She told reporters that the TTP had claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing of Times Square, New York, in 2010.
The group "had also vowed to attack the US homeland again," Harf said, adding it had also been behind attacks on US diplomats in Pakistan as well as incidents that killed Pakistani civilians.
Mr Karzai in August asked Pakistan to help arrange peace talks between his government and Taliban insurgents, during a visit to Islamabad for his first talks with newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Botched efforts by the United States in June to launch peace talks with the Taliban infuriated Karzai when the Taliban opened up an office in Qatar.
The office has since been shut.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 10/12/2013
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