Page last updated at 06:34 GMT, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 07:34 UK

Senior Pakistan militant arrested

Pakistani army troops prepare to leave for patrolling in Kabal, a town of Pakistan"s troubled Swat Valley, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009
Pakistan's army has arrested a number of senior militants recently

Pakistan's military says it has arrested another important militant from the troubled Swat valley.

Mohammad Nasim Shah, also known as Abu Faraj, is reputed to be the militant commander behind suicide bombings across the region.

Army officials say he is a close aide of Swat's Taliban chief, Maulana Fazlullah. He is the latest senior militant to be seized in recent weeks.

The military has said its forces are also closing in on Maulana Fazlullah.

His whereabouts are unknown. The Taliban denied reports that he was wounded and close to death earlier this year.

The militants' chief spokesman, Muslim Khan, was detained on 11 September along with five other senior Taliban commanders.

Some reports say that Abu Faraj was arrested after he was seriously wounded during a military operation on Monday.

Launched in April after militants took area 100km from Islamabad
Army says some 1,700 militants killed, but none of their leaders
One of biggest human migrations of recent times, with 2m displaced
Army says operation largely over in July, and residents begin return

Abu Faraj used to train bombers for suicide missions in the area.

He was expert in making suicide jackets and in preparing improvised-explosive device attacks, Colonel Akhtar Abbas told the AFP news agency.

His arrest comes as Pakistan continues military operations in parts of the Swat valley.

On Monday, police said they foiled a plan to assassinate the education minister of the North West Frontier Province.

Police engaged four militants in a gun battle which concluded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives, killing only himself.


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