Pakistan's counterterrorism service says authorities have arrested eight alleged Islamic State militants who were taking orders from commanders in Syria.

It said in a statement Thursday that the arrests were made the day before in the eastern city of Lahore. It says some of the militants planned to go to Syria or Afghanistan and that other members of the cell had already left.

The authorities also seized laptops, mobile phones and jihadi literature.

IS sympathizers have claimed large attacks in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, but it's not clear how closely linked they are to the group's leadership in the Middle East. Pakistan has insisted the group has no organized presence in the country.