Five Are Arrested in Reported Plan to Set Off Bomb in Kandahar
Afghan authorities have arrested five men who reportedly planned to bomb a busy area in the southern city of Kandahar, including one man who is an important Taliban figure with links to the Qaeda terrorist network, the foreign minister, Abdullah, said today. Three of the men were stopped in a minibus as they approached Kandahar, and two others were detained in a house on the city’s outskirts. The men in the minibus had explosives with them, Khalid Pashtun, chief aide to the governor of Kandahar, said in a telephone interview. Dr. Abdullah said that one of the five men was Mullah Janan, a Taliban member “notorious” for his close ties to Al Qaeda. He said Kabul was waiting for full confirmation of preliminary reports that Mullah Janan had been arrested. Mr. Pashtun would not confirm that Mullah Janan was among the detainees. Speaking at a news conference in Kabul, Dr. Abdullah said that the men had been planning to explode a bomb in a populated area near a government facility.