MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani security forces raided a hideout of Taliban- linked suspected Islamic militants on Thursday, killing 6 of them, a counter-terrorism official said.
The raid in the central district of Khanewal was based on intelligence that the militants were planning an attack said the official, Mohammad Saleem. Explosives, assault rifles, hand grenades and maps of some installations were seized at the scene, he said.
The raid came on heels of a series of suicide bombings this week by a breakaway Pakistani Taliban faction — the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar or Freedom Movement — following an almost three-month lull.
The group carried out three suicide bombings this week, killing 19 people. Also, two of its bombers were killed before they could set off their explosives and another blew himself up prematurely before reaching his target.
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Pakistan has for over a decade fought Islamic militants, who have killed thousands of people.
Similar raids and search operations were underway in other Pakistani urban centers and security was put on alert in major cities across the country, said Rana Sanaullah, a provincial law minister.
Meanwhile, the office of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he convened a meeting of top civilian and military officials and ordered a tough response to the militants.