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NATO, Afghan forces arrest two over Kabul attacks

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NATO and Afghan forces have arrested at least two people suspected of coordinating this week's Taliban attack on the US embassy and NATO headquarters in the capital Kabul, which left 15 dead.


AFP - NATO and Afghan forces have captured at least two suspects linked to a dramatic Taliban assault on the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, the transatlantic alliance said Thursday.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said a Taliban suspect and a member of the Pakistan-based Haqqani network were held in the wake of the attacks in the Afghan capital that left 15 dead.

The Taliban suspect "and his associates coordinated multiple attacks in Kabul against Afghan and coalition forces to include the September 13, 2011 attacks at NATO Headquarters and the US embassy," an ISAF operational update read.

He had also planned vehicle-bomb attacks and was captured in eastern Paktiya province, it added.

Afghan and coalition security forces captured the Haqqani member, described as a "network facilitator," along with his associate during an operation in eastern Khost province. ISAF linked the man to Tuesday's assault.

The brazen assault raged for 19 hours amid a hail of rockets, grenades and suicide blasts as Afghan and foreign troops battled insurgents.

The standoff ended when troops finally killed the two last insurgents who had held out overnight in a high-rise building under construction just a few hundred yards from the heavily guarded US embassy.

US officials have pressed neighboring Pakistan to crack down on the Haqqani militants in the northwest, but remain frustrated as Islamabad has focused mainly on the Pakistani Taliban.

Before the Kabul attack, the US military blamed the Haqqani militants for a truck bombing on Saturday against a NATO base in Wardak province that wounded 77 American troops.

The network is closely allied to the Taliban. It was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani and is run by his son, Sirajuddin, both of them already designated "global terrorists" by Washington.

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