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Pakistan Arrests 97 Militants

Pakistan Arrests 97 MilitantsPakistan Arrests 97 Militants

Pakistan has arrested 97 al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants, including three commanders, in the southern city of Karachi and foiled a planned attack to break US journalist Daniel Pearl’s killer out of jail, the army said on Friday.

The men are accused of involvement in major attacks on two Pakistani air bases, the Karachi airport, several regional intelligence headquarters and on police installations between 2009 and 2015, the military said, Reuters reported. The LeJ’s Naeem Bokhari and Sabir Khan, as well as Farooq Bhatti, deputy chief of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), were captured by Pakistani forces in recent raids, military spokesman Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa said.

“Our conclusion is that all of the terrorist groups are trying to cooperate with each other in order to carry out terrorist attacks,” he told a news conference.

The LeJ and AQIS had been working “in collusion” with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, Bajwa added. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is an Islamist group whose sectarian ideology is closely aligned with Islamic State, as it wants to kill or expel Pakistan’s minority Shias and establish a Sunni theocracy.

Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent was formed by global al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in September 2014, and is one of dozens of Islamist militant groups, some aligned against Pakistan and others against its neighbors, that operate in the country.

Financialtribune.com