American troops have captured second in command of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Latif Mehsud, officials in Washington have confirmed.
However, officials did not confirm the place and date where the top TTP leader was captured. "I can confirm that US forces did capture TTP terrorist leader Latif Mehsud in a military operation. I don't have further details to share about the operation for you at this time," State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said on Friday.
The TTP, which is based in the lawless areas along the Afghan border in Pakistan, is closely linked to both al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban, a separate group led by Mullah Omar, which was toppled from power in Kabul in the 2001 US-led invasion.
Mehsud is a senior commander in TTP and served as a trusted confidant of the group's leader Hakimullah Mehsud, Harf said.
"TTP claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing of Times Square in 2010 and has vowed to attack the US homeland again. TTP is also responsible for attacking our diplomats in Pakistan and attacks that have killed countless Pakistani civilians," she added.