A planned “mass suicide attack” in Kabul has been foiled by the Afghan intelligence service, with up to 18 people arrested as a result, it was reported.
At least 11 suicide vests containing explosives were seized on the premises of the country’s ministry of defense, according to a report by the BBC.
A third of the 18 suspects were reported to have been members of the Afghan National Army.
The suicide vests were found on Monday in three separate rooms around a ministry parking area, less than a kilometer from the presidential palace, the report said.
It is claimed that six soldiers were arrested at the time, followed by 12 people the day after.
It is believed the vests were intended to target eleven buses, carrying 1,100 staff, which were due to set off just 45 minutes after the first wave of arrests were made.
The highly embarrassing allegations were denied by the Afghan Ministry of Defense.
“These are just rumors and now we are working on finding the men who have provided these rumors to the media,” said Dawlat Wazeri, the ministry’s deputy spokesman, in comments to the BBC.
In two separate incidents on Monday, one U.S. and two British soldiers were shot dead in Paktika and Helmand Provinces, respectively, by men dressed in uniforms of the Afghanistan security forces.