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8 linked to UN attack arrested: official

world Updated: Nov 01, 2009 01:02 IST
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Authorities have arrested eight people, including one in Saudi Arabia, in connection with this week's deadly attack on a guest house used by United Nations employees, the Afghan intelligence chief said on Saturday.

He said those arrested claimed the assailants came from Pakistan's Swat Valley.

Amrullah Saleh also told reporters that Afghan intelligence had advance information that a Taliban attack in Kabul was in the works but was expected during rush hour. Instead, the attackers struck just before dawn Wednesday, killing eight people, five of them United Nations foreign staffers. The three assailants also died.

Saleh's comments are likely to intensify criticism of the security provided to employees of the world body working in Afghanistan. The United Nations has already said that it took too long for Afghan police and NATO troops to respond to the attack.

Saleh said the eight men taken into custody in connection with the assault included an imam who provided a hide-out for the assailants before the attack. He did not elaborate on what role the other seven may have played.

He said Afghan authorities had no evidence that the assailants were from Pakistan apart from statements made by the detainees. The Swat Valley fell under Taliban control until Pakistani forces pushed out the militants in an offensive last spring.