Afghan authorities say they are investigating what they think was a terrorist attempt to kill senior officials or destroy installations with a car bomb. Authorities say two men are under arrest in the capital, Kabul.
Government officials say Afghan intelligence services have foiled what could have been a suicide car-bombing in Kabul.
The spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Ministry, Omar Samad, says security officers trailed one of the suspects Monday as he drove into Kabul from an outlying province.
There are conflicting versions about several key elements of the arrest, but all agree on the potential danger, as Mr. Samad explained.
"The car that he was driving was filled with explosives, quite a large amount of explosives," he said. "We are talking about several-hundred kilos. It seems like it may have been a suicide-type attempt to target an individual or a group of people or an installation."
Mr. Samad stressed the driver of the potential car-bomb is definitely a foreigner and could be an al-Qaida terrorist. "It seems like it may be related to an al-Qaida-type operation," he said. "So, as you know, al-Qaida is filled with people from all different nationalities. It could be someone from any one of the nationalities that al-Qaida usually uses as operatives."
The incident appears to have caught the international community working in Kabul unaware.
Spokesmen for the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. military and the 5,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Kabul say they first learned of the arrests from local radio and television broadcasts.
After the assassination of an Afghan vice president three-weeks ago, the transitional government of President Hamid Karzai and the U.N. International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) pledged to improve coordination.
ISAF spokesperson Major Angela Herbert, of the British Army, indicated that peacekeepers were not involved in the incident. She added it is not clear who or what the target might have been.
"It could have been an ISAF target," she said. "Potentially it could have been any of the ministers. Potentially it could have been Karzai. We all know that. But who exactly it was I cannot say, and neither can the transitional authority."
ISAF says it did not increase its security alert status after learning of the incident.