WASHINGTON (AFP/Reuters) - US and Pakistani spies have captured the Talibans top military commander, US media reported, but the militia Tuesday denied his arrest and said he was still leading the fight in Afghanistan. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested in Karachi several days ago by US and Pakistani intelligence services, the New York Times and other US media said, citing unnamed US government officials. The report emerged as 15,000 US, NATO and Afghan troops press on with a major assault to capture the Taliban bastion of Marjah in southern Afghanistan, key to Washingtons new strategy for turning around the costly war. The New York Times billed Afghan-born Baradar as top lieutenant to the Talibans one-eyed and elusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, and said he was currently being interrogated by Pakistani and US officials. But the Taliban denied Baradars capture and accused US officials of trying to deflect attention from resistance they are facing in Marjah. We strongly reject the reports of his arrest, Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location. He is currently in Afghanistan, where he is leading all jihadi activities... The sole goal of such baseless reporting and propaganda is to make up for the failure in Marjah. I would call it significant, a US official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. But even when you get their leaders, theyve shown an amazing resilience to bounce back. Its an adaptive organisation. A second US official confirmed the capture. A Pakistani security official who declined to be identified told Reuters: Yes, its true. He has been arrested. Hes in our custody. Officials from Pakistans military were not available for comment. The US embassy in Islamabad and senior police in Karachi said they had no information. Baradar is in charge of the Talibans military operations and leadership council, and was a close associate of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the New York Times said. The details of Baradars apparent capture were unclear, but the New York Times said it was carried out by Pakistans Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence and US Central Intelligence Agency operatives. US television channel ABC also cited a senior official as saying Baradar was captured several days ago, calling it a very big deal. If he were taken off the battlefield, it would deal a major setback to the Afghan Taliban and be a personal blow to Mullah Omar, who has relied heavily on him for years, another unnamed counter-terrorism official told the station. Pakistani expert on the Taliban, Rahimullah Yusufzai, expressed some doubt about the US reports, saying fighters can operate under different names. If confirmed, his arrest would be a psychological, political and symbolic setback for the Taliban. But it will not end the war nor will Taliban lay down their arms, he told AFP. An Interpol profile said 42-year-old Baradar was a senior Taliban military commander, subject to tough UN sanctions and gave his location as the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Baradar is said to be second-in-command of the so-called Quetta Shura - although Pakistani officials have denied the Taliban presence in the city.