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    Top Pakistani militant leader detained in Nangarhar

    JALALABAD (PAN): Afghan intelligence operatives have detained a senior Pakistani militant leader in eastern Nangarhar province, bordering the Khyber tribal region, a spy official said on Monday.

    Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, the former second-in-command of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was arrested along with several associates in the Mohmand Dara district, a National Directorate of Security source said on condition of anonymity.

    A Taliban commander in the area near the Pakistan border, meanwhile, confided to Pajhwok Afghan that he had received information about the detention of the TTP’s ex-commander along with some accomplices.

    It is learnt that the man, who was removed as Taliban chief for Bajaur agency in March 2012 on suspicion of striking a peace deal with the Pakistani government, and four of his associates had sneaked entered Nangarhar from Bajaur.

    According to a leading Pakistani newspaper, he was apprehended near Basawal village on Torkham road near Tirah valley. Dawn quoted an NDS official named Abdullah as saying that the detainees were currently under investigation.

    “Yes I can confirm their names as they had told us --- Maulvi Faqir, Shahid Umar, Maulana Hakeemullah Bajauri, Maulana Turabi and Fateh. They were travelling in a vehicle that we intercepted near Basawal village,” he told the newspaper.

    Born in 1971 in the Chopatra village of Bajaur, Faqir Mohammad formed in 1993 the Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM) along with Maulana Sufi Mohammad from Swat valley. The extremist outfit forcibly enforced Islamic laws and scared away tourists from the northwestern region.