South Asia

Afghanistan: Army officer 'worked for Taliban'

An Afghan army officer has been arrested on suspicion of working for the Taliban and plotting suicide attacks, intelligence officials say.

The officer, named as Gul Mohammed, had confessed that he was working with Taliban commanders, they said.

Infiltration of the security forces by Taliban sympathisers is a major threat to security.

However, correspondents say it is extremely rare for an acting army officer to be accused in this way.

"The National Directorate of Security arrested Gul Mohammad... who was an officer with the Afghan National Army and was intending to organise suicide and terrorist attacks," said NDS spokesman Lutfullah Mashal, quoted by AFP news agency.

Mr Mashal was unable to give details about the officer's rank.

Unusual case

He said he was accused of plotting attacks in three areas of the capital Kabul where a number of international and Afghan military bases are located, as well as the Isaf headquarters and the defence ministry.

The BBC's Jill McGivering says infiltration of the Afghan army and police is a major concern, and there have been numerous instances in the past of uniformed officers attacking foreign troops who were training them and sharing facilities, she says.

In many of these cases, it was unclear whether the rogue officers were motivated by personal grudges or had been recruited by the Taliban, she adds.

The arrest comes amid a spate of militant activity including several killings of senior officials, as Nato hands over parts of the country to local security forces.