It was rumored that Mullah Dadullah was surrounded along with 200 fighters in Urzugan province earlier this week, and so far there’s been no change in that siege, as the fighters are among villagers and holed up in houses with hostages.
An Update from Pak Tribune, [note: the Taliban Leader killed in the article is not Dadullah]:
A Taliban commander was among 16 people killed in Afghanistan, while Afghan and Nato forces surrounded around 200 Taliban fighters in southern Uruzgan province, officials said.
Eleven Taliban were killed when Afghan and Nato forces attacked their hideout in the Seuri district of southern Zabul province, General Rahmatullah Raoufi, army commander for regional south, said.
He said joint forces acting on a tip-off surrounded the Taliban compound and asked them to surrender, adding that the joint forces opened fire after being fired on by the insurgents from inside the compound. The ensuing battle left 11 Taliban dead. None of the Afghan or Nato troops was wounded.
In western Farah province, Afghan and US-led coalition forces killed two suspected Taliban and wounded another two during an operation in the Bakwa district, Sayed Agha Saqib, provincial police chief, said.
He said two Afghan policemen were wounded and seven suspected Taliban were captured for questioning.
In another incident, Afghan and Nato forces surrounded around 200 Taliban fighters, including some senior militant commanders, in a village in southern Uruzgan province, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said
Bashary said the militants came under siege when they gathered for a meeting in the Chora district of the province and were warned to surrender or face attack. He said the surrounded militants included some top Taliban commanders, but did not name any. However, Deputy Interior Minister Abdul Hadi Khalid told the security commission of the upper house of parliament on Monday that it was possible that Mullah Dadullah, the top rebel commander for the southern region, could be among the fighters under siege.
Dadullah is believed to have been responsible for the recent beheading of an Afghan journalist and his driver. US forces killed a senior Taliban commander, Mullah Akhtar Mohamed Osmani, in southern Helmand province in December last. The Taliban rejected the claim that their fighters, including Mullah Dadullah, are surrounded by Afghan forces, saying there was no need for such a large number of their fighters to gather in one place.
Meanwhile other reports state that Mullah Dadullah is alive and that he’s claiming that Osama Bin Laden planned the Bagram attempt to assassinate Vice President Dick Cheney:
OSAMA bin Laden planned the attack at a US military base in Afghanistan during a visit by US Vice-President Dick Cheney, a top Taliban commander said in an interview shown yesterday by Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera.
Bin Laden planned and supervised the attack on February 27 that killed 23 people outside the Bagram base while Mr Cheney was there, said Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban’s military commander in southern Afghanistan who has close associations with al-Qaeda.
“You may remember the martyr operation inside the Bagram base, which targeted a senior US official … that operation was the result of his wise planning,” Dadullah told Al-Jazeera.
“He (bin Laden) planned that operation and guided us through it. The operation was a success.
Deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino said it was “an interesting claim but … I haven’t seen any intelligence that would support that”.
A US counter-terrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said al-Qaeda would likely have used more than a single explosion outside the base’s main gate if it were targeting Mr Cheney.
In addition, the official said, it took bin Laden significant time to communicate from where he was hiding.
That wouldn’t offer him the flexibility to order an attack on Mr Cheney, whose stop at Bagram was kept secret in advance of his arrival, the official said.
The US military had said previously it was unclear whether the Taliban knew about Mr Cheney’s visit or whether the timing of the attack was a coincidence.