KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan security agents on Wednesday captured five would-be suicide bombers with more than half a ton of explosives who were apparently planning a massive attack near Kabul’s international airport, the country’s main intelligence agency said.
The attack was believed to have been intended in response to this week’s NATO summit in Chicago, the National Directorate for Security said in a statement. It blamed the plot on “enemies of peace and stability,” the Afghan government’s usual term for the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
The would-be attackers had packed a minivan with more than 1,200 pounds of explosives and were caught on the road leading to the airport, the intelligence agency said.
The Taliban had denounced the NATO gathering before and after it took place on Sunday and Monday, but did not manage to carry out any major attacks inside Afghanistan while it was going on. At the meeting, the allies reaffirmed plans to hand over most fighting duties to Afghan forces during 2013 and pull out their own combat troops by the end of the following year.
About 3,000 international troops have died in the course of the 10-year war, nearly two-thirds of them American. The NATO force announced another military death on Wednesday in Afghanistan’s south, from an improvised explosive device. It did not identify the slain service member by nationality.
--Laura King and Aimal Yaqubi