NATO said in a statement that the arrest took place on the night of January 16 in Helmand Province. NATO declined to identify the commander, but said he had fled from a recent NATO operation in neighboring Kandahar Province to Helmand.
The arrest came as U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Afghanistan, seeking ways to boost President Hamid Karzai's government and stop resurgent Taliban militants.
The Afghan government said on January 16 that authorities had arrested a purported Taliban spokesman and aide to the group's fugitive leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, after he crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan.
The Afghan Insurgency
A U.S. military vehicle damaged by insurgents near Kandahar (epa)
HOMEGROWN OR IMPORTED? As attacks against Afghan and international forces continue relentlessly, RFE/RL hosted a briefing to discuss the nature of the Afghan insurgency. The discussion featured Marvin Weinbaum, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and RFE/RL Afghanistan analyst Amin Tarzi.
LISTENListen to the entire briefing (about 83 minutes):
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