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Major Attack On Kabul Thwarted: Afghan Intelligence

Afghanistan's intelligence agency said Thursday that its agents have foiled a potentially devastating attack on Kabul and seized a large quantity of weapons.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said its forces carried out a raid on a militant hideout in Kabul's Khair Khana area, killing a member of Pakistan-based militant Haqqani network. Six others were arrested.

The NDS recovered a hoard of arms and ammunition from the militant hideout, including five vests of explosives, an RPG rocket launcher, several machine guns, grenades and 8 sets of mobile phones with Afghan and Pakistani sim cards.

The Afghan intelligence agency said the busted cell was planning to carry out attacks on government organizations. The cell was deployed in Kabul by the Haqqani network, which has links to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

The militant group, based in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region, has carried out a series of high-profile cross-border attacks on Afghan security forces as well as the NATO-led international coalition forces deployed in the country.

Incidentally, the Afghan government as well as the US have often accused Pakistan of supporting Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, and not doing enough to prevent Taliban militants from using Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas as a base for launching cross border attacks in Afghanistan.

Islamabad has consistently denied the allegations, insisting that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan remains vital for Pakistan's own stability and prosperity.

The latest developments come amidst preparations by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan to withdraw from the war-torn Asian nation by December 2014 after handing over security responsibilities to Afghan national forces.

The US and its allies involved in the ongoing military mission in Afghanistan are currently making efforts to ease tensions between the two Asian neighbors as they consider Pakistan's involvement in the planned peace process in Afghanistan to be vital due to Islamabad's historical ties to the Taliban.

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