Pakistani Police Claim to Arrest 4 Al Qaeda-Linked Terrorists

Pakistani police have arrested four people, claiming they are Al Qaeda linked terrorists who were planning to attack foreign missions.

The four men belonged to the Al Qeida linked Lashker-e-Jhangvi, a banned militant organization blamed for several attacks in Pakistan, Masood Aziz, chief of Anti Terrorist Cell of Lahore police said Tuesday.

He said they were captured Monday night in the eastern city of Lahore while riding in a public bus. He said the arrests followed an intelligence report but did not elaborate.

Aziz identified one of those arrested as Fahad Munir, a nephew of Riaz Basara, who was wanted on terrorism charges but killed by the police several years ago while on the run.

Aziz claimed that Munir has confessed to helping the extremists involved in the Nov. 1 suicide bomb attack on a Pakistan Air Force bus that killed eight people in Sargodha, a city about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the capital, Islamabad.

The four are suspected of planning attacks on foreign missions, Aziz said, but again declined to give additional details.

Aziz said police recovered 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) of explosives, other bomb making material, an assault rifle and a wireless handset from the four men.

Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism, has seen an increase in suicide attacks in recent months. Most are blamed on Islamic extremists.

On Monday, a suicide bomber killed the army's surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Mushtaq Baig, in Rawalpindi near Islamabad.

Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed Dec. 27 in a gun and suicide bomb attack, also in Rawalpindi.