More than 130 suspected terrorists have been killed and over 350 people, mostly Afghans, arrested in Pakistan as part of a nationwide crackdown by security forces following a string of suicide bombings in the country.
At least 15 terrorists were killed in another targeted strike by the Pakistani forces across the Afghan border on Sunday, Geo News reported.
A high-value target, known for recruiting terrorists and training suicide bombers, was also reportedly gunned down and at least 12 terror sanctuaries, including a hideout and weapon depot camp of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar’s commander were also pounded.
In Pakistan’s northwest tribal region, at least 11 Afghan terrorists were killed during a gun battle with the security forces. The gun-battle occurred in Sapperkot and Para Chamkani in Kurram Agency.
Pakistan had reportedly launched “strikes” against militant bases in Afghanistan on Saturday. The killing of militants and arrests were part of a nationwide crackdown following a spurt in terror attacks.
Punjab police spokesman Niyab Haider told PTI today that, “More than 350 suspects have been taken into custody (in Punjab), mostly Afghans, since the Lahore blast last Monday on the Mall Road.”
“During Saturday and Sunday the police have arrested more than 200 people mostly Afghans and Pashtoon as they did not have identification papers. Police have also arrested those who had given them their houses on rent,” he said.
According to a spokesman of the Crime Investigation Department, “Police are focusing on intelligence-based search operations to get maximum results. Deployment at all sensitive government installations has been increased and the operation in and around localities of shrines in the province is also being conducted.”
He said illegal weapons have also been recovered from some of the suspects who have been shifted to undisclosed location for identification.
Police have also taken a man into custody who had rented his house to handler Anwarul Haq of the Lahore blast. According to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Haq had brought the Afghan suicide bomber to the Mall Road.
An anti-terrorism court on Saturday handed over Haq to Counter Terrorism Department on a 30-day remand. Tahrik-i-Taliban Pakistan splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar had claimed the responsibility for the Lahore blast.