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Afghanistan says Taliban held over suicide bomb plot

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Taliban Militants. —AP File Photo

KABUL: Afghan authorities said on Friday they have arrested five Taliban insurgents who were planning suicide attacks on civilians in the capital Kabul and another city later this month.

Police arrested the four men and one woman in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Thursday and seized four suicide bomb vests and C-4 explosives along with other weapons, the interior ministry said.

“They were trained outside Afghanistan's borders and have confessed their crime,” ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told a news conference.

He said the five Afghans were linked to the Taliban and the Haqqani network and were arrested “as they were preparing to launch a coordinated attack on civilian facilities on April 27-28” in Kabul and Jalalabad.

April 28, Victory Day, is a public holiday marking the mujahideen's overthrow in 1992 of the Soviet-backed government of Mohammad Najibullah.

The Taliban have been waging an insurgency against the Afghan government since they were toppled from power by a US-led invasion in 2001.

The Haqqani network, a faction of the Taliban, was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a mujahideen leader against Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s who is now based with his family in Pakistan.

Haqqani is close to al Qaeda and his fighters are active across east and southeastern Afghanistan and in Kabul.

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