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Pakistan Detains Nine Local Militants With Alleged IS Ties

An Islamic State fighter in Iraq.
An Islamic State fighter in Iraq.

Pakistani counterterrorism officials say authorities have arrested nine local militants with alleged ties to the extremist Islamic State (IS) group, who were planning terrorist attacks across the country.

The officials told RFE/RL's Mashaal Radio on December 29 that the men were arrested during raids in the eastern province of Punjab on December 28.

Authorities at Punjab's Counter Terrorism Department said they seized weapons, explosive materials, laptops, and CDs from the detained men, who allegedly pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Pakistani quoted investigators as saying the suspects had taken oath to overthrow the government and "introduce a caliphate in Pakistan through armed struggle."

Three of the suspects have reportedly received "military training," reported, citing interrogation documents.

It said the suspects had been communicating with each other through social media and Skype.

The Associated Press quoted two Pakistani counterterrorism officials as saying that some of the detained men were brought before a court on December 29, which allowed them to be held for up to 10 days for questioning.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to media.

With reporting by AP and