Taliban facilitator detained in Afghan Balkh province: ISAF
Kabul, March 20: A Taliban weapons facilitator was captured Tuesday in northern Afghanistan's province of Balkh, the coalition forces said on Wednesday.
"An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban facilitator and one other insurgent during an operation in Mazar-e Sharif district, Balkh province, yesterday," the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a press release.
The facilitator is accused of procuring improvised explosive device (IED) components, suicide vests and other weapons and distributing them to his fellow fighters for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the province 305 km north of capital Kabul.
"At the time of the arrest, the facilitator was believed to be actively planning an attack against high-ranking government officials in conjunction with traditional Afghan New Year, or Nawruz, celebrations," the release added.
Nawroz, a Persian word which means New Year, is celebrated in Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Pakistan, Tajikistan and some parts of other Central Asian states.
On Thursday, Afghans will celebrate Nawroz or the first day of the solar New Year 1392 in Mazar-e Sharif, Kabul and other cities across the country amid tight security.
The Taliban insurgent group, which has been waging an insurgency of more than one decade, has yet to make comments.