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Pakistan says it foils militant plot to disrupt Independence Day celebrations in Karachi

  • Police and paramilitary troops surround a restaurant following a deadly attack on police officers in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. A police officer said gunmen killed several policemen at the roadside restaurant in southern Pakistan. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

    Police and paramilitary troops surround a restaurant following a deadly attack on police officers in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. A police officer said gunmen killed several policemen at the roadside restaurant in southern Pakistan. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police and paramilitary troops surround a restaurant following a deadly attack on police officers in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. A police officer said gunmen killed several policemen at the roadside restaurant in southern Pakistan. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

    Police and paramilitary troops surround a restaurant following a deadly attack on police officers in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. A police officer said gunmen killed several policemen at the roadside restaurant in southern Pakistan. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pakistani youngsters wear masks painted in the design of the national flag after buying it from a stall to celebrate the country's upcoming 69th Independence Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. Millions of Pakistanis will hold rallies for Independence Day on Friday to commemorate its independence in 1947 from British colonial rule. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

    Pakistani youngsters wear masks painted in the design of the national flag after buying it from a stall to celebrate the country's upcoming 69th Independence Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. Millions of Pakistanis will hold rallies for Independence Day on Friday to commemorate its independence in 1947 from British colonial rule. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)  (The Associated Press)

Pakistan's military says its security forces have arrested a "foreign-sponsored" group of militants who wanted to disrupt this week's Independence Day celebrations by carrying out a suicide attack in the southern city of Karachi.

The military said in a statement Wednesday it acted on a tip off from intelligence agencies. It says security forces also seized an explosive-laden vehicle during last Sunday's raids in Hyderabad and Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province.

It says the captured militants included Bakhat Zaman, the deputy chief of the Pakistani Taliban. The statement did not identify the foreign power authorities believed sponsored the militants.

Pakistan won independence from Britain on Aug. 14, 1947. Millions of Pakistanis mark the day each year in rallies and by hoisting the country's flags at home.