x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Taliban leaks alleged security plan online

Group posts details of landmark tribal elder meeting on its website.

KABUL // The Taliban in Afghanistan have made public what they claim is a secret government security plan for an assembly of tribal elders expected to decide on ties with the US this week.

The alleged arrangements, posted on the group's website on Sunday, featured a satellite map of the venue where the landmark event would take place, mobile phone numbers of security officials and details of security deployments. Government officials and the international military said the plan was a fake.

The assembly of tribal elders, or loya jirga, was due to start in Kabul tomorrow. About 2,000 elders were to discuss Afghanistan's long-term relationship with the US and efforts to make peace in the warring country. The Taliban have threatened to target the meeting and struck at the last loya jirga in 2010.

Meanwhile yesterday, Afghan security forces killed a bomber in Kabul near the site of the jirga.

"A suicide bomber who was carrying a bag of explosives was shot dead near [the loya jirga tent]," said Sediq Sediqqi, an interior ministry spokesman. "He was killed before he could carry out his mission."

* Agence France-Presse, with additional reporting by Reuters