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Six Held In Alleged Plot To Assassinate Afghan President

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says it has detained six people in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Afghanistan's intelligence agency said the group had recruited one of Karzai's bodyguards in order to kill the Afghan president.

National Directorate of Security spokesman Lutfullah Mashal described the alleged conspirators as "a dangerous and educated group including teachers and students."

He said those arrested had ties with a member of Al-Qaeda and the militant Haqqani network based in Pakistan's tribal region of North Waziristan.

Karzai was on a visit to India when the arrests were made by Afghan intelligence agents.

The arrests follow a series of assassinations and attempted assassinations of key figures in Afghanistan who have been working with Karzai's central government.

On September 20, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani -- a powerful factional leader from northern Afghanistan and head of Kabul's peace-negotiating team -- was killed by a turban suicide bomber.

Afghan officials say Rabbani was killed by a Pakistani and that Islamabad has refused to cooperate in the investigation, a charge denied by Islamabad.

Karzai's powerful brother Ahmad Wali Karzai was killed by a security guard at his home in Kandahar in July, and presidential adviser Jan Mohammad was murdered less than a week later.

compiled from agency reports