By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Afghan security forces have detained five insurgents with 10,000 kilograms of explosives in Kabul.
National Directorate of Security spokesman Shafiqullah Tahiri told a news conference on April 20 in Kabul that the men intended to use the explosives in a massive attack on crowded areas in the capital.
“If this amount of explosives had been used, it could have caused large-scale bloodshed,” he said.
He did not say when the arrests took place.
Tahiri said the group was planning to kill the second vice president, Mohammad Khalili, and attack crowded areas. He said a video detailing the group’s plans was also found, along with suicide vests and weapons.
The explosives were found stuffed into 400 bags and hidden under piles of potatoes in the back of a truck on the city outskirts.
He identified the five arrested men as “three Pakistani terrorists and two of their Afghan collaborators” and said they had received training from members of the Pakistani Taliban, which has strong links with the Afghan Taliban.
“All of the arrested individuals admitted to their crimes and said that they have been members of terrorist groups of Pakistani and Afghan Taliban for a long time,” Tahiri said.
“The individuals were arrested while they brought thousands of explosives materials under the cover of cements bags to Kabul.”
The spokesman also said the explosives were brought from Pakistan to Kabul.
Afghan officials have long accused Pakistan of using insurgent groups like the Afghan Taliban as proxies in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s government denies supporting or giving sanctuary to insurgents on its territory.
Militants reportedly from a Pakistan-based group launched coordinated assaults last week in the Afghan capital and three other eastern cities, killing 51 people.
In Kabul, they targeted diplomatic and government areas with rockets and gunfire in what they said was retaliation for abuses of Afghans by U.S. soldiers.
The attacks showed the insurgency’s resilience nearly 11 years since the Afghan Taliban regime was toppled.
The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks and said it planned similar assaults in coming months.