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.