LAHORE: Another four members of the self-styled Islamic State group were arrested during a successful operation near the Multan Railways station, an official of the Punjab counter-terrorism department told The Nation on Friday.

At least eight hand grenades, maps, and some pictures of IS leader Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi were also recovered from the militants who belonged to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and Daesh, the Middle East-based group which controls large swaths of Syria and Iraq.

The raid comes just two weeks after the security and law enforcement agencies arrested another four members of the terror-outfit during an operation in Ya-Rasool-Ullah Park near Moon Market in Lahore’s Iqbal Town.

A spokesman for the Punjab CTD said that a team of the Multan CTD raided the railways station road and arrested four militants. The raid in Multan city was conducted shortly after the department received “credible and actionable intelligence” from some secret sources.

The official confirmed the arrests but did not mention further details because of security reasons. It was not clear yet how the suspects were identified as affiliated with the Islamic State group.

The terror suspects were identified by the CTD as Yasir Tufail, son of Muhammad Tufail, a resident of Lahore district. He was caught with three hand grenades in his hands. The second suspect was identified as Muhammad Usman, son of Muhammad Yousaf, a resident of Lahore, who was arrested with two hand grenades in his hands.

The third terror suspect was identified as Syed Khan, son of Muhammad Khan, a resident of Dawatoi village Waziristan. The fourth member of this gang was named by police as Irshad, so of Taaj, a resident of Barkat Town, district Sheikhupura.

All the four terror suspects were shifted to an unknown facility for further interrogation. According to police sources, the raid was conducted when the militants were plotting gun and bomb attacks on the Multan railways station. 

A case (FIR No 83/16) under section 4/5 ESA, 7-ATA, and 11-F (2) was registered against the militants with the Multan CTD police station. An official said that they were expecting more arrests in the days ahead since the terror suspects were being grilled by counter terrorism personnel.

Two weeks ago, four terror suspects Syed Abdul Alam, Muhammad Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Nisar Ahmed, and Tassawar Amin were arrested from Lahore. According to CTD, they were plotting large-scale terror attacks to target government installations and senior officials in Lahore. The counter terror operatives had also seized 1600 gram explosives, 8 safety fuse, and four non-electric detonators from their possession.

The latest arrests come one month after Pakistan Army declared that it had foiled Islamic State’s attempts to establish operations in the country. According to the military spokesman, they had arrested more than 300 militants and their sympathisers including 20 core organisers during the countrywide operations.

In early August, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban having links with ISIS, claimed the responsibility for the attack on lawyers and journalists in Quetta. More than 70 people mostly lawyers died in the horrific blast that ripped through the emergency ward of the civil hospital.

The same group was behind the deadliest attack in the country so far this year; the suicide attack in a crowded Lahore park that killed 75 people on Easter Sunday in March.