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Eleven ‘hardcore terrorists’ have been arrested in a combing operation by the army in Lahore with a huge cache of arms and ammunition seized from their hideout, on the eve of Pakistan’s Independence Day. The operation was launched on Saturday on an intelligence report about the presence of terrorists in the suburbs of Lahore, an official of the Inter-Services Public Relations said.
The operation continued for more than three hours and led to the arrest of 11 members of a sleeper cell of a terrorist organisation. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also seized, the official was quoted as saying by Dawn News. Two of the arrested terrorists belong to Jamaatul Ahrar, a splinter group of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the report said quoting sources.
Earlier, the Punjab home department had issued an alert, warning that Taliban’s Fazlullah group had sent two suicide attackers to strike at the Wagah border near Lahore or the Ganda Singh border in Kasur. The alert advised the authorities to enhance vigilance at the two places and improve security measures to prevent any untoward incident.
According to the spokesman for the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), 96 combing operations were recently conducted in various cities of Punjab, during which 45 suspected terrorists were arrested and booked in 16 FIRs. Arms, ammunition and explosive material were seized from the possession of 16 suspects. Besides, as many as 3,373 people have also been questioned.
In Lahore, the CTD detained more than 150 suspects during a combing operation in various areas, including Saddar, Iqbal Town, Cantonment and City divisions.