Afghanistan's police and NATO-led
peacekeeping forces have arrested eight Islamic militants with suspected links
to the al-Qaida terror network and renegade Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
and his Hezb-i-Islami faction.
A spokesman for the international peacekeeping force, Commander Chris Henderson
said the suspects were detained in an early morning raid on a compound in central
Kabul. At a news conference in the Afghan capital, he added that Afghan police
and international peacekeeping forces jointly conducted the operation.
"They arrested eight people with suspected links to Hezb-i-Islami [group
of] Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and al-Qaida," he said. "A thorough search of the compound
also revealed documents linked to these terrorist groups, [and] a small amount
of weapons. There were no injuries to either security agencies participating
in the raid or to the people, the occupants of the compound."
Commander Henderson refused to discuss details of the documents. As he put
it, Monday's operation has successfully removed a number of people from the
streets of Kabul who could pose an imminent threat to security in Afghanistan.
He said, "We believe that one of the eight people is a senior member of the
Hezb-i-Islami of Gulbuddin [Hekmatyar], but because this is a matter that is
under investigation by the police, we do not reveal the identities of the people
that have been detained."
Mr. Hekmatyar's radical Hezb-i-Islami faction is believed to have joined
hands with remnants of Afghanistan's deposed Taleban leaders and al-Qaida militants
in frequent attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces and government targets in
Within the past month, Afghan authorities and international peacekeeping
forces have captured several suspected militants in and around Kabul, who they
said were linked to Mr. Hekmatyar's extremist Islamic group.