Provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah says authorities in Pakistan's eastern Punjab Province have arrested 42 suspected militants with alleged links to the Islamic State extremist group.
Sanaullah said the arrests were made during the weekend in four cities across the Punjab Province as a result of evidence gathered during a raid in late December.
On December 29, Sanaullah announced that police had arrested eight suspected members of the IS group in the town of Daska, in central Punjab Province, on charges that they were planning to establish a terrorist network and carry out attacks in Pakistan.
Before the December 29 raid in Daska, Pakistan’s government had officially denied that IS was operating in Pakistan – despite years of extremist violence in the country linked to Al-Qaeda, Taliban militants and other Islamic extremists.
In May 2015, IS militants claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 43 members of the Shi’ite Ismaili minority in the southern port city of Karachi.
Based on reporting by AFP, The Express Tribune, and the International New York Times