Pakistan Says It Has Arrested Three Daesh Members

A policeman cools himself as he stands guard during the Shiite Youm Ali procession in Islamabad, Pakistan. Three Daesh members were arrested in Pakistan earlier today. June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

By Mubasher Bukhari

LAHORE, Pakistani, June 27 – Counter-terrorist police raided a building in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday and arrested three men affiliated with Daesh who were planning to attack government buildings, authorities said on Monday.

The raid came as police said that the Pakistani Sunni extremist group Lashkar e Janghvi had been seeking to build relations with Islamic State before LeJ chief Malik Ishaq was killed last July.

Lahore’s counter terrorism department said in a statement that their agents seized 1.5 kg of explosives and detonators apart from arresting the three men.

The CTD named the three arrested men but gave no details of how they were connected to Islamic State.

Two senior security officials told Reuters that Daesh and LeJ leader Ishaq had been in contact with each other since 2014 and were seeking to establish a foothold for Daesh operations in Pakistan.

“(Ishaq) was serious about establishing a working relationship with Daesh because of his anti-Shia agenda,” said one senior police official in Lahore.

The officials said the nascent cooperation was cut short when Pakistani authorities killed Ishaq in July 2015 along with his two sons and deputy.

Pakistani officials have generally denied that Daesh has gained a foothold in the country, though there are occasional reports of arrests or killing of people affiliated with the group.

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