DERA ISMAIL KHAN: In the first major breakthrough during the ongoing military operation, Pakistan Army has apparently captured a high-ranking Taliban commander who once tried to blow up former president Pervez Musharraf, security officials said on Tuesday.
According to reports, Adnan Rashid, who escaped from Bannu jail on Aril 15, 2012 along with 400 prisoners, including Taliban militants, was captured on Friday in a house where he was living with his family in Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan Agency.
However, there was no official confirmation of the high-profile arrest from the military.
Rashid, believed to be in his mid-30s, is a former Pakistan Air Force technician who tried to become a suicide bomber before he was jailed for a 2003 attempt to blow up then-president Musharraf.
He escaped from jail in 2012 after militants attacked Bannu jail using rocket-propelled
grenades and assault rifles. Following his release, he claimed responsibility for masterminding another jailbreak that freed nearly 400 prisoners, made a series of YouTube videos and wrote an open letter attempting to justify the assassination attempt on schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai.
Local residents in the area where Rashid was captured say that leaflets purporting to be from the Taliban were being circulated, blaming Rashid’s capture on some local Taliban commanders and promising vengeance.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2014.
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