Al-Qaeda man, 5 terrorists nabbed in Afghanistan

Afghan and US-led coalition forces arrested a suspected al-Qaeda bomb expert and five other terrorist suspects Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan, as NATO forces in the south fought Taliban militants in the second day of the alliance's largest-ever offensive in Afghanistan. The US-led coalition had information indicating "a suspected terrorist with strong ties to al-Qaeda" and to a group that helped militants along Afghanistan's border region was inside an eastern Afghan compound near Jalalabad, it said. "The suspected terrorist was a (bomb-making) expert and logistics officer for the Tora Bora Front, which facilitates the movement of fighters from Pakistan to Afghanistan," the US said. No shots were fired and no one was hurt during the raid. In southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, meanwhile, some 5,500 NATO and Afghan soldiers fought Taliban militants in the second day of NATO's largest-ever offensive here. NATO hopes the operation can help establish security in a lawless region ruled by a Taliban shadow government and drug traffickers. Helmand is the world's biggest poppy-growing region.