The Counter-Terrorism Department yesterday nicked three female terrorists, said to be affiliated with the defunct TTP, following an intense exchange of firing while their two male counterparts fled the scene.

The CTD also seized suicide jackets, hand grenades, explosives and firearms from their possession.

According to the CTD sources, the operation was carried out at a deserted mosque at Lahore-Khushab Bypass in Jhal Chakkian area, following a tip-off. The officials claimed that the CTD thwarted a ‘big terrorism plan’ as the terrorists were planning to attack education institutions and media houses. As the lawmen raided the hideout, the terrorists including the women started indiscriminate firing, which the CDT cops retaliated and a shootout ensued. In the meanwhile, two male terrorists identified as Mukhtar Ahmed and his son Umer Mukhtar managed to escape the scene.

Later, the CTD officials managed to capture the female terrorists who were identified as Isma, wife of Mukhtar, her daughter Khola and daughter-in-law Umeera, residents of district Khushab.

The CTD officials claimed that the women are well-educated and were planning attacks on educational institutions. Source informed that the terrorists had been involved in attack on media houses in the past. The lawmen claimed to have recovered two suicide jackets, three hand grenades, explosives and firearms from their possession. The women were shifted to an undisclosed location for investigation.

It is to be noted that the raid was part of the ongoing anti-terrorism operation across Punjab province that was launched after the deadly suicide bombing in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore in which 76 people, mostly women and children, were killed.

Since March 27, Intelligence agencies along with Army and Rangers personnel have carried out a series of operations in different parts of Punjab and arrested hundreds of suspects.