Islamabad”Pakistani counter-terrorism forces have arrested more than 40 militant suspects with alleged links to the Daesh terrorist group across the country’s eastern province of Punjab.
Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah confirmed on Monday that at least 42 suspects were detained after police commandos from the counter-terrorism department raided their hideouts in four Punjab cities over the weekend.
“The arrests were the result of raids in four Punjab cities over the weekend,” said Sanaullah.
Sources say security forces also seized a large amount of weapons from the detainees.
This comes nearly a week after Pakistani law enforcement agencies detained over a dozen Daesh militants in Daska, a town in the Punjab Province.
In late December last year, Pakistani security officials in southern port city of Karachi said that they were hunting down a network of women acting as fundraisers for the Daesh militant group that is wreaking havoc mainly in Iraq and Syria.
In May 2015, Daesh claimed responsibility for a deadly attack that killed at least 43 members of the Shia Ismaili community in Karachi.
In recent months, the Daesh militant group has been using a sophisticated social media campaign to woo local Taliban and other militants across Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Local residents in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern tribal regions have reported the circulation of leaflets backing Daesh terrorists in the region. Slogans in support of the group have also been seen on the walls in a number of towns.
The Pakistani army chief has also admitted that some groups in the country were attempting to prepare the ground for Daesh activity.
“There are people in Islamabad who want to show their allegiance to Daesh. So it’s a very dangerous phenomenon,” General Raheel Sharif said in an address to the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in the British capital, London, in early October.
However, General Sharif vowed that Pakistan would not allow “even a shadow” of Daesh into the country.