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7 800kg of explosives seized near Kabul

15 March 2013, 16:00

Kabul - Afghanistan's intelligence agency seized 7 800kg of explosives destined to be made into a truck bomb for an attack in Kabul, an official said on Friday.

The explosives, one of the largest single hauls by the agency, were seized on Wednesday on the eastern outskirts of the capital after a tip from locals, said Shafiqullah Tahiri, spokesperson for the National Directorate of Security.

"Five terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with our forces," he said. "Two of them were detained."

The destructive capacity of such a bomb would have had a radius of 1 500m, Tahiri said, adding that the explosives were composed of ammonium nitrate, potassium chloride and other materials that had yet to be identified.

They had been packed into cement bags.

"The terrorists planned to launch a full-fledged attack after the explosion," the spokesperson said, adding that three rocket-propelled grenade launchers, two machine guns and a large amount of ammunition were also seized.

The haul came ahead of next week's Afghan New Year's festival.

Tahiri blamed the Haqqani network and the Quetta Council for planning the attack in Kabul.

The Haqqani network is an Afghan insurgent group believed to be based in Pakistan's tribal regions. It is responsible for most of the deadliest attacks around Kabul.

The Quetta Council is a loose umbrella of insurgent groups headed by Taliban founder and leader Mullah Omar, who is believed to be based in Quetta, Pakistan.

On Saturday, nine people were killed in a suicide attack in Kabul in front of the Afghan defence ministry.



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