KABUL: Afghan security forces captured intelligence data pointing at the Haqqani network during a raid in Kabul which killed five insurgents and wounded one on Thursday. The authorities said they had thwarted a massive attack.
Soldiers from Afghanistan’s spy agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), launched the raid just after midnight, entering a single-story house compound on the fringes of Kabul which the insurgents were using as a base.
The NDS said target maps and telephone numbers recovered from the compound had numbers for the Haqqani network.
Haqqani network, allied with the Taliban and largely based in northwest Pakistan’s border lands, have been blamed by Nato-led forces in Afghanistan for several high profile attacks in recent months.
“They [insurgents] planned mass attacks in different parts of Kabul disguised in burqas,” the NDS said in a statement.
Police said two insurgents escaped during a gun battle that raged for five hours around the isolated compound, where the insurgents had been amassing weapons in a newly built brick house.
The militants had three vehicles loaded with explosives and suicide-bomb vests, as well as large stores of rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, and planned to occupy a high-rise building to attack the city’s business heart.
The Taliban issued a statement denying that Thursday’s operation had targeted their fighters.
The United States is pressing Pakistan to step up its efforts to root out militants, in particular the Haqqanis.
Pakistan has also long complained that the United States has overlooked its contribution to the fight against militants.
Nato’s top commander in Afghanistan, US General John Allen, met Pakistani counterparts in Islamabad on Thursday to discuss cross border security in the wake of hundreds of rocket attacks in eastern Afghanistan which Afghan officials have blamed on the Pakistan army.
Pakistan has denied the accusation.
“We are making significant progress toward building a partnership that is enduring, strategic, carefully defined, and that enhances the security and prosperity of the region,” Allen said in a statement after his talks.
The Nato-led force in Afghanistan has acknowledged an 11 percent spike in attacks over the past three months since the start of the summer fighting period, although overall the number of foreign soldiers killed is down on last year.
Eighty-five were killed in June and July against 119 over the same period last year.
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