Afghan security forces have arrested five suspected militants with 10 tonnes of explosives that they allegedly planned to use to carry out a massive attack in Kabul, a security official said on Saturday.
Shafiqullah Tahiry, a spokesman for the National Director for Security, told reporters three of the men were members of the Pakistani Taliban, while the other two belonged to the Afghan Taliban.
He said they were taking orders from two Pakistani Taliban commanders who he claimed have ties to that country's intelligence agency.
He did not say when the arrests took place, nor what their intended target was.
"If 10,000 kilograms of explosives, which were already inside Kabul, could disappear under the vigilant eyes of our forces, think of what a disaster could have happened," Tahiry said.
According to Tahiry, the men confessed that they had planned to carry out an attack at a key location in Kabul city.
Tahiry added that the captured explosives were brought from Pakistan to Kabul, hidden in 400 potato bags that were loaded in a truck with Pakistani licence plate.
He claimed the three picked up the explosives just outside the Pakistani city of Peshawar, and were under the orders of two Pakistani Taliban leaders named Noor Afzal and Mohammad Omar, who, according to Tahiry, allegedly have ties with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
Last week, militants reportedly from a Pakistan-based group launched co-ordinated assaults in the Afghan capital of Kabul, and other eastern cities in Afghanistan.
Afghan and US officials have blamed those attacks on the Haqqani network, an insurgent group that is allied with the Taliban and al-Qaeda and has been described by American officials as the most dangerous militant force in the Afghan war.
Eight policemen and three civilians were killed after 18 hours of fighting during last Sunday's co-ordinated assaults, along with 36 militants, according to Afghan officials.
A man with bloodied hands and holding a cleaver speaks to a video camera near a London military barracks where one person was killed.
Date 13-05-22, Duration 0:18, Views 59202