'Five insurgents killed' in Kabul gun battle

An Afghan National Army soldier keeps watch near the site of the gunbattle in Kabul August 2, 2012. The security forces say they thwarted a major attack

Afghan officials say five insurgents believed to have been planning attacks in central Kabul have been killed in a gun battle.

Security personnel raided a house in the east of the city and fighting broke out in the early hours of Thursday.

The battle continued for six hours. Dozens of homes were evacuated and vehicles containing explosives were also found at the scene.

The raid involved Afghan forces acting on a tip-off, officials said.

Security officials had earlier told the BBC that eight insurgents had been killed.

Officials say three vehicles packed with explosives have been seized from insurgents along with suicide vests and other weapons, the BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul reports.

Three insurgents with remote controls and directions for sophisticated attacks in different parts of the city were arrested last night, Kabul police chief Gen Mohammad Ayub Salangi told the BBC.

"This was a really big plan. Thank God we were able to stop it," intelligence agency spokesman Latifullah Mashal told the Associated Press.

The Taliban has denied that its fighters were involved in the battle.

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