(dpa) - A top Taliban commander who had escaped government custody twice was arrested in fighting that left three insurgents dead in southern Afghanistan, police said Tuesday.
A Taliban force headed by Mullah Naqibullah attacked a police patrol Monday in Kakaran village, 12 kilometres north of Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand province, said Mohammad Hussain Andewal, provincial police chief.
"The police returned their attack with small-arms fire and killed three Taliban militants," Andewal said, adding, "After the gun battle calmed down, police discovered and arrested Mullah Naqibullah, who was wounded in the fighting."
A police ranger vehicle that militants had captured from the police forces in the province was also recovered, he said.
"He is a senior Taliban commander in the area who already escaped twice from Afghan government prisons," Andewal said.
Taliban militants have yet to say anything about the capture of their military commander.
Niqibullah boasted in January that he had escaped custody for the second time after paying a bribe of 15,000 dollars to an official from the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence service.
After escaping from jail in Kabul, Naqibullah again joined Taliban insurgents in Helmand province, from where he had waged war against Afghan and international forces in the country.
His first prison escape was allegedly in 2006 in Kandahar, a province bordering Helmand and Pakistan.