A potential attack against the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan appeared to be thwarted Friday as a joint Afghan and international military patrol killed two men during an operation in Kabul, according to an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) statement.
The action was taken in response to a "credible threat" against the embassy, the statement noted.
Fifteen people were briefly detained in the operation.
The area targeted by the joint force was near an office building in downtown Kabul, the statement said. As the force approached two vehicles believed to be filled with explosives, they were attacked with small-arms fire. Two shooters were killed when members of the force returned fire; a third surrendered on the roof of a nearby building.
A significant number of weapons were discovered during the operation, according to the statement.
He is Nasiruddin Haqqani, son of Afghan insurgent leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, whose notorious group, called the Haqqani Network, operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan and is closely tied to the Taliban.
Nasiruddin Haqqani was detained in recent days while driving from Peshawar to the tribal region of North Waziristan, the sources said. The United Nations says he is believed to be based out of Miram Shah in North Waziristan, where the network operates.
Afghanistan is seeing higher levels of violence this year than last year at this time, with 20% more civilians killed and the number of "security incidents" up by 66%, the United Nations says in a new report.
The number of civilians killed by the United States and its allies was lower, but insurgent attacks are significantly higher, meaning the overall number of civilian deaths is up.
More than 2,400 civilians were killed, and more than 3,800 injured in the first 10 months of this year, the report says.
Eleven soldiers were killed Friday when about 150 militants fired at five security forces checkpoints in the northwest Pakistan tribal region, a government official said.
The attack injured 12 others, said Amjad Ali Khan, the government official in Mohmand Agency.
NATO's command in Afghanistan is investigating a military operation in a northern province that it says led to the "inadvertent" deaths of two people.
The incident, which took place Thursday in Faryab province, is among several skirmishes that have resulted in the deaths of apparent non-combatants during warfare, a controversial and much-derided occurrence in Afghanistan.
Two people were slain in separate explosions in Afghanistan, and an airstrike killed three militants, authorities said on Thursday.
In Kunduz city, a suicide attacker Thursday killed a police officer and wounded five people, including three children, the Kunduz provincial governor's spokesman said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross says the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated to its worst point for aid organizations. CNN's Arwa Damon has the story.
A police officer was killed and five others were wounded during a suicide attack in northern Kunduz province in Afghanistan, a local official said.
"The suicide attacker detonated himself in the Chowk area of Kunduz city at 8 in the morning" said Mahbibullah Saidi, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
Hamdullah Danishi, acting governor of the province, confirmed the suicide attack and said that the suicide attacker wanted to target a police checkpoint.
Three children were among those injured, officials said.
The NATO command in Afghanistan is investigating the deaths of five civilians during a skirmish Tuesday in the south.
The incident occurred in the Sangin district of Helmand province, the volatile region where fighting has raged for years.
The International Security Assistance Force said insurgents with small arms and machine guns assaulted coalition forces.
After troops identified the attackers' positions, they fought back "with direct and indirect fire."
"This is a tragedy," said ISAF spokesman U.S. Army Lt. Col. Patrick Hynes. He said the military is aware that "insurgents purposefully stage attacks against friendly forces" based in the homes of innocent civilians.
The deaths of civilians during fighting have hurt the coalition's efforts to win backing for its efforts, and the forces in recent years have worked to lessen such casualties.
Also on Tuesday, two coalition service member died in the south, both after bombing attacks, ISAF said. The precise locations of the killings and the nationalities of the service members were not immediately made available.
Also, over the previous 24 hours, an ISAF and Afghan border police patrol found 992 pounds of hashish in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province, also in the south.
In the same district, a police patrol found 33,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, which is used to make explosives, and approximately 1,322 pounds hashish. Several people were detained.
The NATO command in Afghanistan and a Pakistani diplomat took issue with a news report Tuesday that said some U.S. commanders are advocating "an expanded campaign" of cross-border Special Operations ground raids into Pakistan's perilous tribal region from Afghanistan.
The New York Times article dated Monday cited American officials in
Washington and Afghanistan and quoted one senior American officer as saying
"we've never been as close as we are now to getting the go-ahead to go across."
The report says there have been only a few American incursions from Afghanistan into Pakistan and that the warfare in Pakistan "has for the most part been carried out by armed drones operated by the CIA."