LAHORE: Pakistani security forces have arrested more than 60 terrorists they suspect were plotting to launch attacks in the run up to Eid in the country's relatively peaceful Punjab province.
The arrests were made over the past few days as part of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad (elimination of discord) launched on February 22 as a response to the continuing wave of terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
Twenty nine suspects were arrested in Faisalabad and Gujranwala. "Most of them are terrorists' facilitators. Fifty weapons and explosives have been recovered from them. These were to be used for terrorist activities on Eid-ul-Fitr," the Counter Terrorism Department of the police said.
In another raid, the CTD claimed to have arrested three members of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LeJ) from Gujranwala.
The CTD said it has seized more than 11 kg of explosives, one pipe bomb, improvised explosive devices, one suicide jacket, one cooler bomb, two remote controls for detonation of jackets, three detonators and other materials from them.
In Gujrat district, some 250 kilometres from Lahore, 23 members of Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Jammatur Ahrar were arrested and illegal weapons and ammunition seized from them.
They were involved in facilitating terrorists, it said.
Three TTP members were arrested from Bahawalpur who were allegedly plotting an attack in the city on Eid.
In another raid, five alleged facilitators of militants were arrested in Mandi Bahauddin, some 350kms from Lahore.
The Pakistan Rangers (Punjab), Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) reported to have taken part in the operation ahead of Eid in different parts of Punjab.