Afghan authorities say they thwart planned attacks

The Associated Press

Afghan intelligence services say they have thwarted two major attacks in the past 20 days; a plot to kill the first vice president and a planned bombing in central Kabul.

Latifullah Mashal, spokesman for the intelligence service, said Wednesday that authorities had arrested five people plotting a suicide bombing against the house of First Vice President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim in the capital Kabul. He said the group was allied with the Haqqani network, an al-Qaida-linked militant group.

Mashal said the five had been close to carrying out their plan when they were arrested, but he would not give an exact timing of the arrests for security reasons.

He said the other thwarted attack was a planned car or suicide bombing near President Hamid Karzai's palace in Kabul.