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    Security and Crime

    Plot to attack Presidential Palace, Defence Ministry foiled

    KABUL (PAN): Twenty-two insurgents, including a Pakistani suicide bomber and senior Afghan Taliban figures, have been arrested in a plot to attack the Presidential Palace, the Ministry of Defence and the Kabul Airport, the spy service said on Tuesday.

    The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the arrests were made over the past three weeks in various parts of the central capital.

    NDS spokesman Farid Shamal told a press conference the detainees included a Taliban-designated district chief for the Khak-i-Jabbar district, Abdul Aleem.

    Aleem had been tasked with carrying out terrorist attacks by the Waziristan-based Haqqani Network and “Peshawar Taliban Council” during the three-day Loya Jirga session, he said.

    Attended by 2,500 delegates, the grand assembly last month asked the government to conclude the security deal with the US this year.

    Shamal said a large quantity of weapons, including 11 mortar shells, 10 missiles, 82 rounds of 82-MM artillery shells and 56 kilograms of explosives had been seized from the detainees.

    He said the detained insurgents had been planning attacks on the Presidential Place, the Ministry of Defence and the Kabul International Airport.

    A Taliban’s deputy governor for central Parwan province, Mullah Hidayatullah aka Hijratullah, had also been arrested in Kabul’s Paghman district, he said.

    Hijratullah, who was planning three attacks in Kabul, had been sent by a Taliban Quetta Council member Mullah Ismail, the official said.

    Three suicide attacks facilitators with links to the Haqqani network were detained along with suicide belts, three AK-47s, 34 hand-grenades and an explosives-laden vehicle in the limits of 8th police district.

    Shamal identified the three as Inayatullah, Khudaidad and Mohammad Naeem. Another detainee, Hizbullah, nicknamed Saifuddin, a student at Al Beruni University in Kapisa and native of central Logar province, was arrested with an explosives-packed vehicle in the Kart-i-Naw area of Kabul.

    He said the detainee had links with the Haqqani Network.

    Another suicide bomber, Mohammad Akbar son of Fazli Rahim, a resident of Peshawar, was detained during a special operation by intelligence operatives before he could carry out his attack, Shamal said.

    The Pakistani in his initial interrogation said he had been lured by a Taliban commander Maulvi Fazl Rahman to join the group and his Pakistani mentors --- Mufti Abdullah Shah and Syed Jan --- sent him to Kabul for a suicide attack on completing training on the directives of Rahman.

    Several other militants, who were planning deadly attacks in Kabul, were among the detainees, Shamal said.

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