Police have arrested six suspected members of an al-Qaida-linked Sunni Muslim militant group in raids on their homes in eastern Pakistan, officials said Sunday, saying the men were plotting to launch terrorist attacks at a major Shi'ite festival.
Police and intelligence agents also seized some 30 assault rifles, 10 grenades and more than one kilogram of explosives in the separate raids January 28 in the city of Lahore, senior Lahore police investigator Omar Virk told AP.
"We raided two places and seized six men of a banned organization linked to al-Qaida," Virk said. "They had plans to attack Shi'ite processions" in Lahore on the eve of Ashoura, the Shi'ite faith's main festival of mourning that was celebrated on Tuesday, he said.
Virk would not identify the suspects or say which group they allegedly belong to but, another police officer said they were members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group that the government banned in 2001 over allegations that it was involved in the killing of Shiite Muslims in Pakistan.