9 suspected terrorists belonging to different banned outfits arrested in Pakistan

Lahore, Jun 7 (PTI) Nine suspected terrorists belonging to different banned organisations were arrested by Pakistan's security agencies in Punjab province, authorities said on Tuesday.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police said it had conducted extensive intelligence-based operations across the Punjab to avert any untoward incident last week.

"During these operations nine suspected terrorists belonging to different banned organisations have been arrested," it said.

Four terrorists - identified as Sadam Hussain, Abid Ullah Khan, Muhammad Manzoor and Muhammad Arshad - are from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), CTD said.

The TTP, also known as the Pakistan Taliban, was set up as an umbrella group of several militant outfits in 2007. Its main aim is to impose its strict brand of Islam across Pakistan.

The group, which is believed to be close to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

Two terrorists - Muhammad Riaz and Syed Taqiul Hasnain - were members of the banned sectarian outfit Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan.

An active member of Al-Qaeda, Jameelur Rehman, was also arrested.

Khalid Mehmood is an operative of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Naveed Akhtar was working for a foreign intelligence agency, the CTD said.

Five kilograms explosives, 40 detonators, five hand grenades, one pistol, six bullets, 154 items or banned literature and a Potohar Jeep have been recovered from them. Separate FIRs have been registered against them and they were shifted to undisclosed places for further investigation, it said.

The CTD said these suspected terrorists were planning attacks at important buildings, law enforcement agencies and personalities of different faiths to fan sectarianism in the country.