Kabul: A senior Afghan official announced on Monday the arrest of nine would-be suicide bombers who were allegedly plotting attacks on "strategic targets" in Kabul.
The men, aged between 16 and 55, were arrested during a coordinated operation that included raids on at least one madrassa, or religious school, in the capital, a spokesman for the country`s spy agency said.
"They were planning attacks on strategic targets but since the investigation is ongoing we cannot go into details," Sayed Ansari, spokesman for the National Directorate for Security (NDS), told reporters.
Some of the men were Pakistani nationals, he said, adding that weapons found during the raids -- including heavy machine-guns, rocket launchers, hand grenades and suicide vests -- had been brought over the border.
He did not give a specific date for the arrests, but said they were recent and occurred two or three days ahead of the planned attacks.
Kabul has been free of major attacks since late February when militants armed with guns and suicide vests killed about a dozen people, many of them foreigners.
Taliban-linked insurgents are waging an increasingly vicious insurgency against the Kabul government, which is supported by 126,000 international troops, set to peak at 150,000 by August.