Captured militant 'could be top Taliban leader'

US-led coalition forces captured a militant fighter with only one leg in a battle this week in southern Afghanistan, and it was possible the militant could be top Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah, an Afghan general said today.

US-led coalition forces captured a militant fighter with only one leg in a battle this week in southern Afghanistan, and it was possible the militant could be top Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah, an Afghan general said today.

The militant was captured in a joint Afghan-coalition operation in Kandahar province on Wednesday, said Gen. Rehmatullah Raufi, the head of the Afghan military’s southern region.

Dadullah, who lost a leg fighting for the Taliban during its rise to power in the mid-1990s, is one of the hard-line militia’s top commanders, responsible for operations in eastern and south-eastern Afghanistan.

Neither the US-led coalition or the Afghan government in Kabul said they could immediately confirm Dadullah had been captured.

Raufi said coalition troops captured the militant during a battle in the Panjwayi district of Kandahar province, fighting that led to the deaths of 18 militants and a female Canadian soldier. About 35 militants were detained in that fight.

Raufi said the militant without a leg was seriously wounded and unconscious in a military hospital.

He said there was a “good chance” the militant was Dadullah, but that he didn’t know for sure.

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