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Afghan Officials Say Plot To Kill Karzai Foiled

Afghan officials said Wednesday that they have foiled a plot to assassinate President Hamid Karzai and arrested six people, including one of Karzai's bodyguards.

The bodyguard was recruited by a network of al-Qaida sympathizers at Kabul Medical University that is linked to the Pakistan-based Haqqani militant network, according to Afghan intelligence officials.

Intelligence service spokesman Latifullah Mashal said three college students and a university professor were also among those arrested in Kabul.

The Haqqani group, which was armed by the CIA in the 1980s to fight the Soviets, is now considered the most dangerous branch of the insurgency in Afghanistan. Pakistan's spy service is believed to train, if not direct, the Haqqani network, which has been blamed for several recent attacks in Kabul.

Afghan officials have been increasingly vocal in publicly accusing Pakistan and its spy agency of supporting militants. On Tuesday, they claimed that Pakistani officials had advance knowledge of the Sept. 20 assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani. Pakistan has denied the charges.

NPR's Quil Lawrence reported from Kabul, Afghanistan, for this story, which includes material from The Associated Press.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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