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Afghans Seize Would-be Assassin - 2002-07-29


Afghan authorities say a would-be assassin driving a car bomb has been caught before he could carry out a plan to smash into vehicles carrying Afghan national leaders.

Afghan television quotes the state intelligence service as saying the car bomb driver was a foreigner caught after his car was involved in a traffic accident in central Kabul.

Monday's television report showed yellow blocks of explosives stored under the seat of the car and behind door panels.

The report did not say when the man was apprehended or how investigators determined his alleged plan. The report also did not make it clear if Afghan President Hamid Karzai was the car bomber's intended target.

The television report showed a photo of the suspect, a heavily bearded young man in a vest and open shirt. His dress and appearance seemed Afghan or Pakistani, but a government statement said he was a foreigner and that the plan was developed abroad.

An Interior Ministry spokesman told the Associated Press that a second man was arrested in the case.

Just three weeks ago, two gunmen assassinated Abdul Qadir, a new Afghan vice president and cabinet minister. Last week, because of rising security fears following the Qadir killing, President Karzai replaced his Afghan bodyguards with U.S, soldiers.

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