Afghan forces seized a car packed with 300 kilogrammes of explosives as it drove towards Kabul on Monday, less than two days after police foiled a massive truck bomb in the capital. Two Taliban suicide attackers were detained by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security intelligence agency in Surobi district about 50 kilometres east of the city, the NDS said in a statement.
The white Corolla was travelling from the eastern province of Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan, towards Kabul city when it was stopped. Authorities do not know the attackers’ intended target.
However, the Taliban leadership recently “decided to conduct a series of complex and bloody attacks on predetermined targets including military installations, convoys of security forces and crowded areas of Kabul city,” the NDS said.
The latest incident comes as Kabul remains on high alert after police on Saturday night stopped a lorry carrying 2,700 kg of explosives hidden under boxes of tomatoes, averting a potentially deadly blast.
Police shot and wounded the driver of the vehicle, carrying 30 plastic drums filled with explosive material and two Soviet-era bombs weighing 100 kilogrammes each, after he failed to stop at a security checkpoint, the interior ministry said.
Security in the Afghan capital has been ramped up since May 31 when a huge truck bomb ripped through the city’s diplomatic quarter, killing about 150 and wounding around 400 people, mostly civilians.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack — the deadliest in the city since 2001 — which Western officials say was caused by more than 1,500 kg of explosives packed in a sewage truck.
The government has blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network for the bombing. Taliban militants rarely claim responsibility for attacks that kill large numbers of civilians.
Following outrage over the attack, authorities increased the number of police checkpoints in the diplomatic zone and installed special barriers to prevent trucks from entering the centre of the city.
Scanners to check lorries wanting access to the area where embassies and international organisations are located were also being used.