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Man Arrested Over Kabul Attacks

Afghans walk past a burned-out shopping center, destroyed during a deadly Taliban attack on January 18.
KABUL (Reuters) -- Afghan security officials said today they had arrested a man who helped plan last week's audacious Taliban attacks on the Afghan capital, Kabul, which killed five people.

Afghanistan's National Department of Security (NDS) said in a statement they detained a man named Kamaluddin, who said he had been recruited in neighboring Pakistan by a Taliban commander working for Sirajuddin Haqqani, a key Taliban leader.

Haqqani's network has been behind many suicide attacks in Afghanistan, particularly in the east of the country, and is described by the U.S. military as among the biggest threats in the country.

Five people, including two policemen, an NDS officer, and two civilians, were killed in the January 18 attacks, which involved several Taliban insurgents striking various sites close to the presidential palace and busy shopping malls.

It was the most brazen attack by insurgents on Kabul for at least a year.

The NDS said Kamaluddin was from eastern Nangarhar Province, but had moved to a house in Kabul ahead of the attacks. Hand grenades and explosives were also found at the house.

The NDS also said it had detained a group of militants who were behind a series of attacks in Kabul in recent months, including an attempted suicide bombing.