3 Italians Among 9 Held In Alleged Afghan Plot

Three Italian medical workers are among nine men arrested in Afghanistan in connection with an alleged plot to kill a provincial governor, officials say. The detentions came after suicide bomb vests and weapons were discovered at a hospital run by a Milan-based charity in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand. Helmand Governor Gulab Mangal said the devices had been brought to the clinic "with the help of the foreign staff". But the charity, Emergency, said it was confident its employees were innocent. It complained that it had not been allowed telephone contact with them and that the Afghan government had not explained why they were being held. "These are people who for years have worked to ensure care for the people of Afghanistan. We ask that you respect their rights, first of all, the right to communicate with us and let us know where they are and what their condition is," the organisation said in a statement.