Pakistan's army spokesman says intelligence agencies have arrested a collective of 97 militants from three banned groups involved in a string of major terrorist attacks.

Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa says the militants belonged to different groups — Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tahrik-eTaliban Pakistan and the local al-Qaeda affiliate. He says they had been coordinating on logistics and planning and were in the midst of planning a major attack on a jail in Hyderabad in order to free Ahmed Umar Saeed Shaikh, who was convicted of involvement in the killing of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl in 2002.

Bajwa said the 97 militants had been arrested in a series of raids and operations over the course of several months.