Afghans capture Pakistani suicide bomber

Afghan intelligence forces said Thursday they had foiled a large attack in Kabul, arresting a Pakistani suicide bomber driving a truck packed with 1,000 kilograms of explosives.

The man was arrested early Thursday on a major road in Kabul's Pul-e-Charkhi district east of the city -- the same area hit on Wednesday in an attack on a guesthouse complex used by foreigners, a spokesman said.

"If this amount could have been used, it would have caused a huge, deadly disaster," Afghan intelligence agency spokesman Lutfullah Mashal told AFP.

"The arrested Pakistani suicide bomber was in his 20s and from tribal parts of Pakistan," said Mashal.

The arrest came on the day designated by Taliban insurgents as the start of their spring offensive and a day after a suicide car bomb on the same road killed at least seven people just hours after US President Barack Obama left the city.

Afghanistan charges that the Taliban, a hardline Islamist group fighting to topple the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is based in Pakistan and has the support of that country's intelligence service.

Three weeks ago, Afghan intelligence forces said they had arrested five insurgents, three Pakistanis and two Afghans, who planned to use 10 tonnes of explosives in crowded parts of Kabul in multiple attacks.

A major attack in the capital on April 15, when squads of Taliban militants fired on embassies, foreign military bases and government targets, was blamed by Karzai on a failure of the intelligence services.

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