State Department confirms US troops capture senior Pakistan Taliban leader in Afghanistan

Friday - 10/11/2013, 5:00pm EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The State Department is confirming that American troops are holding a senior Pakistani Taliban commander in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials and the Pakistani Taliban say Latif Mehsud was captured last week in eastern Afghanistan, but their accounts differ on the exact date and location and who captured him.

The State Department describes Mehsud as a trusted confidant of the leader of the group TTP, which has claimed responsibility for the failed 2010 attempt to detonate a bomb in New York's Times Square.

Pakistani Taliban commanders and intelligence officials say Mehsud was returning from a meeting to discuss swapping Afghan prisoners for money when he was captured.

The news surfaced as Secretary of State John Kerry was in Kabul trying to negotiate the terms of a U.S.-Afghan security agreement that would govern the activities of American forces in Afghanistan after the NATO-led combat mission ends at the close of next year.

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157-c-14-(Patrick Quinn, AP correspondent)-"on the spot"-AP correspondent Patrick Quinn reports that U.S. forces grabbed the Taliban commander after he met with Afghan army officials. (11 Oct 2013)

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156-c-09-(Patrick Quinn, AP correspondent)-"one week ago"-AP correspondent Patrick Quinn reports an Afghan official says that it was U.S. forces that arrested the Pakistani Taliban commander. (11 Oct 2013)

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155-c-12-(Patrick Quinn, AP correspondent)-"captured in Afghanistan"-AP correspondent Patrick Quinn reports Afghan sources say a prominent Pakistani Taliban commander has been arrested. (11 Oct 2013)

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APPHOTO ISL109: In this Oct. 4, 2009 photo, Pakistani Taliban commander Latif Mehsud sits with fellows in Sararogha in south Waziristan in Pakistan. U.S. troops are holding the senior Pakistani Taliban commander they captured in Afghanistan a week ago, an Afghan provincial official said Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mahsud) (4 Oct 2009)

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