Two Afghan officials arrested in Karzai assassination plot

Authorities have arrested two Afghan government employees for alleged involvement in last week's plot to kill President Hamid Karzai, top officials said. But the government maintained that al-Qaida-linked militants based in neighboring Pakistan masterminded the April 27 attack on a military parade in Kabul. Karzai escaped unharmed but three others were killed. "Al-Qaida was involved in the attack. That is very clear from us," intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh told a news conference Sunday. Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak identified one of the arrested government employees by a single name, Jawed, and said he had worked at a Defense Ministry factory repairing weapons. He allegedly provided two AK47 assault rifles and a machine-gun to the three gunmen. Pakistan has sometimes nabbed Taliban and al-Qaida suspects on its soil. The US has also launched missile strikes on suspected al-Qaida hideouts inside Pakistan, although Islamabad condemns it as a breach of its sovereignty.