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Suspected bomber shot dead near Loya Jirga's site

Suspected bomber shot dead near Loya Jirga's site

Nov 14, 2011 - 15:42

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A suspected suicide attacker was shot dead by security forces near the tent of this week's Loya Jirgainfo-icon on a strategic agreement between Afghanistaninfo-icon and the US, officials said on Monday.

Speaking at a news conference, the interior ministry spokesman, Ghulam Siddique Siddiqui, said the attacker was gunned down before he could reach his target. The suspect was carrying explosives in a bag to the site of the jirgainfo-icon.

Another two suspected suicide bombers, carrying explosives, were detained, intelligence officials said.

Security forces recognised the would-be suicide attacker 200 metres away from the venue on the road leading to the Kabul Polytechnic, he said, adding the attacker could not be identified immediately, but an investigation was underway.

"I heard an explosion followed by gunshots. When I came out, I saw police were arresting an elderly man," a resident living close to the Kabul Polytechnic, told Pajhwok Afghan News. However, the blast is yet to be confirmed.

A policeman also said security forces had arrested an elderly man in the area on suspicion.

A Pajhwok reporter at the site saw the dead body of the attacker lying on the ground.  Police had cordoned off the area.

Earlier in the day, the National Directorate of Security spokesman told a press conference that a 10-member terrorist group had been arrested. The group was plotting to attack the parliament.

The interior ministry officials said four groups of suspected militants, trying to destabilise the security situation ahead of the Jirga, were arrested from different parts of the capital city.

The Talibaninfo-icon had warned the fighters would target every individual involved in the jirga, which is being held to discuss a future US-Afghan strategic partnership agreement and efforts to reconcile with the Taliban.

The rebels also say they had acquired security plans for the forthcoming assembly, a claim the government has dismissed as a ploy to intimidate participants.

The Taliban boasted on their website that they had obtained maps and documents that would allow them to launch precision attacks on the traditional Loya Jirga.

More than 2,000 government officials and elders are scheduled to meet to discuss the pros and cons of the proposed US-Afghanistan strategic partnership agreement. The gathering will also confer on a mechanism for peace negotiations with Afghan insurgents. All sitting parliamentarians, some former MPs, 30 percent members of each provincial council, representatives of civil societyinfo-icon and special people, religious scholars and influential tribal elders will attend the jirga.


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