At least nine suspects were arrested during a pre-dawn search operation carried out by law-enforcement agencies on the outskirts of Peshawar on Saturday, police sources said.
A large number of police and other security forces took part in the raids conducted in Badhber, Telaband and other areas outside the provincial capital.
Various types of arms were recovered from the arrested suspects including three pistols, 8mm rifles, 12-bore rifles, sub-machine guns (SMG) and a large quantity of ammos.
The arrested suspects have been shifted to a police station and are being interrogated, sources said.
Security forces searched at least 45 houses during the operation.
The operation comes a day after three terrorists dressed in burkas stormed the hostel of Peshawar’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), killing nine people and injuring 37.
The attack was claimed by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. Both police and military officials said the attackers had been coordinating with handlers based in Afghanistan.
ATI on Saturday released the list of students and staff killed in the attack on the institute on Friday. According to the list, eight students and watchman Malik Abdul Hameed were slain in the attack.
The list reveals that most of the slain students belonged to far-flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata and remained in the hostel despite it being a holiday on Friday.
Peshawar: a victim of militancy
Peshawar has for decades been a victim of militancy due to its status as a front line region in the ongoing war against militancy as well as its proximity to the restless tribal areas and the lawless Pak-Afghan border.
Pakistan Army had launched Operation Raddul Fasaad earlier this year in the aftermath of a fresh resurgence in terror attacks in the country.
The operation seeks to eliminate the “residual/latent threat of terrorism”, consolidating the gains made in other military operations, and further ensuring the security of Pakistan’s borders.
Hundreds of suspected terrorists have reportedly either been killed or arrested in raids carried out by security personnel since the start of the operation.
The number of attacks in the country has fallen around 70 per cent over the past year, due to a combination of the military offensive against Taliban bases along the Afghan border and government initiatives to tackle militancy, but attacks on security and civilian targets continue to occur. Source