A battle between Afghan troops and Taliban militants in Kabul ended with militants blowing themselves up. A Taliban spokesman said two of those killed were responsible for Sunday's attempt on President Hamid Karzai's life.
Afghan security forces raided a Taliban den in Kabul Wednesday, sparking a battle that left seven people dead, including two rebels involved in an attack on President Hamid Karzai, a woman and a child.
Three government agents were also among the dead after fierce clashes raged for around 10 hours at a house in the west of the capital which contained a "very sophisticated terrorist cell", the country's intelligence chief said.
The Taliban confirmed the deaths of the two insurgents and the woman and the child, adding that the rebels took part in an attack on a military parade at the weekend which was attended by Karzai and foreign diplomats.
Spy chief Amrullah Saleh told reporters that two "terrorists were killed in an operation on a very sophisticated terrorist cell in Kabul. Unfortunately three heroes (agents) were also martyred."
Saleh said a women "who was not an Afghan and had come to carry out a suicide attack" and a child were also killed in the raid in a poor neighborhood in the west of the city.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP that two rebels named Attah Mohammad and Mirwais were killed in the operation, along with Mohammad's wife and baby daughter.
"They had planned and executed Sunday's attack on the military parade and had managed to escape after the attack while three of their friends were killed that day," Mujahid said by telephone.
The Taliban spokesman said another rebel had escaped Wednesday's government raid on a house in the Guzargah suburb in the Afghan capital.
"They had rented the house and were making plans and executing plans from there. Attah Mohammad, Mirwais, Bibi Aeesha and her daughter were all killed after a 10-hour resistance," he said.
An AFP photographer saw intelligence agents drive three men away in handcuffs as the gunfire and explosions continued earlier in the day. The fighting died off around lunchtime.
Karzai was unharmed in Sunday's brazen attack on a parade marking 16 years since the fall of the last communist government, but a tribal chief was killed in the attack and a respected parliamentarian died of bullet wounds hours later.
A 10-year-old boy was killed in the return fire, as were three militants.
Saleh said Tuesday he had given President Karzai "solid information" that the Taliban would attack Sunday's parade, which was also attended by a host of foreign diplomats.
He added that he learned after the strike that the attackers had rented a hotel room 45 days earlier from which they fired on Karzai and other dignitaries.
The 1996-2001 Taliban government was ousted in a US-led invasion for harbouring Al-Qaeda leaders after the 9/11 attacks. They have regrouped to wage an insurgency that last year left 8,000 people dead, mostly rebel fighters.
Separately a spokesman for Britain's Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, said the young royal visited troops in Afghanistan this weekend, less than a month after his younger brother finished a tour of duty there.
William flew out as part of the air crew of a C-17 transport plane on Sunday morning, and landed in the southern region Kandahar where he spent about three hours on the ground, the spokesman said.
Date created : 2008-04-30