Afghan intelligence thwarts attacks

Afghanistan’s intelligence agencies said Wednesday they had thwarted two major attacks in Kabul in the past 20 days, while three NATO service members were killed by roadside bombs.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s intelligence agencies said Wednesday they had thwarted two major attacks in Kabul in the past 20 days, while three NATO service members were killed by roadside bombs.

The arrests highlighted the often underplayed dangers confronting the Afghan capital, which has largely been spared the kind of major attacks over the past year that have struck other parts of the country.

In Kabul, Latifullah Mashal, spokesman for the intelligence agencies, said authorities arrested five people plotting a suicide bomb attack at the home of First Vice-President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim.

Mashal said the five — members of the Haqqani network, an al-Qaida-linked militant group based in neighbouring Pakistan — were “very close to attacking” when they were detained. He would not give an exact timing of the arrests or the planned attack, citing security reasons.

The other foiled attack was a planned bombing near President Hamid Karzai’s palace, Mashal said. The two suspects arrested in that case had been involved in rocket attacks against NATO and coalition forces in the past, he added.

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