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Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 15:26 GMT
Top Afghan militant 'captured'
Mansoor Dadullah
Mansoor Dadullah - his brother was killed last May
A top Afghan Taleban fighter has been captured after a shootout with security forces in Pakistan, the army says.

Mansoor Dadullah was seriously injured in the incident in Balochistan province, an army spokesman said. Earlier reports said he had died.

In December the Afghan Taleban said Mansoor Dadullah had been sacked for disobeying orders.

He had succeeded his brother, Mullah Dadullah, who was killed in a joint Afghan-Nato operation last May.

The BBC's Alastair Leithead in the Afghan capital, Kabul, says Mansoor Dadullah's capture will be a blow to the field operations of the Taleban in southern Afghanistan, but is unlikely to have a major impact on the insurgency.

A Taleban spokesman said he had no information about Mansoor Dadullah's fate.

'Sustained injuries'

Police say that the shootout happened in the village of Gowal Ismail Zai, near the Afghan border.

Army spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said Mansoor Dadullah and five other militants had crossed over from Afghanistan and opened fire on security forces who had challenged them.

"Security personnel returned fire. As a result, all of them sustained injuries and all of them were captured," Maj Gen Abbas said, the Associated Press news agency reports.

"Dadullah was arrested alive, but he is critically wounded."

Dadullah succeeded his elder brother - the senior Taleban military commander Mullah Dadullah - after he was killed in an Afghan and Nato operation in southern Afghanistan in May 2007.

The Taleban said in a statement late December that they had sacked Mansoor Dadullah "because he disobeyed orders of the Islamic Emirate" of the Taleban.



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