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KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan authorities shot and killed a suicide bomber believed to be a member of the deadly Haqqani network,before he reached his target, officials said Saturday.

The National Directorate of Security, the main Afghan intelligence agency said in a statement that the would-be bomber was wearing a suicide vest when he was recognized by security personnel and shot dead in the Afghan capital’s police district 17. It did not say when the shooting occurred or provide details of the bomber’s intended target.

A police source who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak about the shooting, said it occurred Friday evening in the Kotal-Khairkhana in the northwestern part of the city. The largely residential area has not been a site of many attacks, unlike the western and central areas of the city.

News of the foiled bomb plot came hours after the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a security alert warning American citizens that it “continues to receive reports of militants planning unspecified attacks in Kabul City and elsewhere in Afghanistan against locations and individuals with potential American connections.”

The sites of potential attacks include Afghan and U.S. government facilities, foreign embassies, foreign guest houses, restaurants, hotels, airports, civilian institutes and educational centers, the security alert said.

The Haqqani network, led by a deputy to newly appointed Taliban leader Haibattulah Akhundzada, is one of the most disciplined and war-hardened branches of the insurgent group. It’s believed to be behind many of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, including a massive suicide bombing on April 19 that killed more than 60 people and injured hundreds more, many of them civilians.

Afghan and Western authorities widely believe the Haqqanis have close ties to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

“The Afghan security and defense forces are committed to spoiling any threat to the people of Afghanistan,” the National Directorate of Security said in its statement. “All the terrorists that are killing innocent Afghans and brave soldiers on orders from others will be eliminated.”

Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report

garland.chad@stripes.com Twitter: @chadgarland

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Chad is a Marine Corps veteran who covers the U.S. military in the Middle East, Afghanistan and sometimes elsewhere for Stars and Stripes. An Illinois native who’s reported for news outlets in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Oregon and California, he’s an alumnus of the Defense Language Institute, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arizona State University.
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