Afghan officials say Taliban raids on Kabul foiled

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan security forces have prevented planned commando-style attacks by Taliban insurgents aimed at “strategic” government and foreign targets in the capital, Kabul, police and intelligence officials said on Monday.

The Taliban have carried out a series of complex attacks, which involved fighters and suicide bombers storming buildings, in recent months in various parts of the country, including Kabul.

The officials did not reveal which locations were the planned targets of the would-be assailants, saying they have arrested nine people, including three suicide bombers and seized some weapons.

Last week’s arrests were made in two different locations of Kabul, one of which was an Islamic religious school, they added.

Two suicide bombers were teenagers while the third was in his mid 50s, officials told reporters, adding plans for the attacks were made across the border in Pakistan.

Interior ministry spokesman, Zemarai Bashary, said police had also uncovered scores of rockets which were set to be fired on Kabul.

Ousted in a U.S.-led invasion in 2001, the Taliban have made a comeback in recent years and increased their attacks on Afghan forces and foreign troops led by NATO and the U.S. military.

To turn the tide against the Taliban, U.S. President Barack Obama, has ordered some 30,000 extra U.S. troops to Afghanistan this year, which will raise the total to 100,000 Americans along with more than 40,000 from other NATO countries.

(Reporting by Sayed Salahuddin; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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