Pakistan arrests more than 650 terror suspects in north-west
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Police in north-west Pakistan have rounded up more than 650 suspected Islamist fighters in a three-day crackdown following last week’s bombings that killed 105 people. They are believed to have dealt a serious blow to Taliban-style groups in the area.
Officials in Khyber Pakhtukhwa say that 410 of the arrests took place in the provincial capital, Peshawar.
Others took place in the Swat valley, parts of which were taken over by the Pakistani Taliban last year, correspondent Behroz Khan says, adding that the arrests have seriously damaged the various groups which have been hit.
The raids continued Tuesday, police said. Paramilitary forces are taking part in the operation, which is focusing on Peshawar and three nearby districts, and arms and explosives have been seized.
The Pakistani Taliban have already claimed responsibility for Friday’s blasts, saying that the target was a meeting of pro-government elders.
Relatives of those arrested say that most of them are innocent.