US claims Taliban military chief Mullah Baradar has been captured

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Washington, Feb.16 (ANI): US Government officials have claimed that the Taliban's top military commander, Mullah Baradar, has been captured in Karachi.

They said that Baradar was apprehended through a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, and has been in Pakistani custody for several days.

The New York Times further quoted them as saying that Baradar is being interrogated, and added that his capture has provided a window into the Taliban and could lead to the capture of other senior insurgents.

They said they are particularly hopeful about Baradar revealing the whereabouts of Mullah Omar, the one-eyed cleric who is the group's spiritual leader.

According to Bruce O. Riedel, a key adviser of President Barack Obama, Baradar's capture could cripple the Taliban's military operations, at least in the short term.

Details of the raid remain murky, but officials said that it had been carried out by Pakistan's military spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and that C.I.A. operatives had accompanied the Pakistanis.

The New York Times learned of the operation on Thursday, but delayed reporting it at the request of White House officials, who contended that making it public would end a hugely successful intelligence-gathering effort.

The NYT is publishing the news now because White House officials acknowledged that the capture of Mullah Baradar was becoming widely known in the region.

Several American government officials gave details about the raid on the condition that they not be named, because the operation was classified.

Before his capture, Mullah Baradar was overseeing the group's operations across its primary area of activity in southern and western Afghanistan. (ANI)

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