Afghan bombing plot on Defense Ministry targeted hundreds - report
More than a dozen Afghan soldiers have been arrested after authorities seized at least 10 suicide vests inside the building. British media claim the jackets were intended to be detonated on commuter buses that transport government employees to and from work.
Eleven buses carrying 1,100 personnel were reportedly due to set off just 45 minutes after the arrests were made.
The fact the plotters had gained access to one of the most heavily fortified buildings in Kabul, which lies behind multiple checkpoints, gave rise to a suspicion of an “insider” attack.
Afghan television stations said several Afghan soldiers have been arrested after authorities found the suicide vests.
Some of those arrested are reported to be Afghan National Army soldiers, a detail which probably made the Afghan Defense Ministry deny the information and call it “rumors”.
Some experts believe the Afghan authorities are trying to conceal another security blunder which could have led to a significant loss of life.
However half a dozen unidentified Western and Afghan officials have confirmed the plot. All of them spoke on the condition of anonymity saying they want to avoid contradicting the Afghan government.
The plot was unearthed on the day when three foreign troops, including two Britons, were killed in two separate incidents by gunmen wearing Afghan security forces uniforms.
The attacks were the most recent in a string against the US and NATO service men which has been blamed on the Afghan police and army.
Earlier this month, an Afghan Interior Ministry employee shot dead two American military advisers in a restricted-access area of the ministry.
Attacks on coalition forces have increased since Afghans were outraged by the video showing US Marines urinating on the bodies of slain Taliban fighters. The burning of Korans by US troops in February and the massacre of Afghan civilians by a US a soldier on 11 March have further deteriorated the attitude to the troops.
Deadly attacks on coalition troops apparently committed by Afghan troops who are set to continue to fight against the Taliban when NATO leave in 2014 seriously undermine the US exit strategy.
Meanwhile almost half of Americans demand speeding up of the withdrawal, according to the recent opinion poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS News.
Almost 70 per cent of those responding said that US troops should not be in Afghanistan.
The poll shows a record low amount of people support the war in Afghanistan waged by the US and its NATO allies for more than decade ago as part of the “war on terror”.