An imminent attack on a shrine in Multan in Pakistan's Punjab province was thwarted with the killing of five terrorists, police said on Sunday, days after a suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in Sindh claimed 88 lives.
The terrorists belonged to Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) group, which claimed a suicide blast in Lahore earlier this month in which 15 people died, the Crime Terrorism Department of Punjab police said.
A CTD spokesman said the department received information that eight JuA terrorists had planned to attack a shrine in Multan.
The terrorists were hiding in Layyah district, some 350 km from Lahore, and waiting for orders from JuA chief Omer Khalid Khorasani to launch the attack today, he said.The spokesman said five terrorists were killed in a gunbattle with a CTD while three succeeded to escape.
The spokesman said four hand-grenades, 1 rifle, 2 pistols were recovered from them.The CTD has killed 11 JuA terrorists since a member of the group carried out a suicide blast in Lahore on February 13, killing 15 people including senior police officers.
Last week, the CTD killed six JuA terrorists in Khanewal district of the province.
Pakistan has stepped up its offensive against militants after a suicide blast on Thursday at the famed Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in southern Sindh province killed 88.
A day after the bombing, Pakistan Army claimed to have killed 100 suspected militants in "intelligence-based operations" across the country. And, law enforcement agencies have beefed up security at all holy places.