LAHORE - In a special search and comb operation carried out in Faisalabad, two high-value terror targets and four facilitators were caught by the agencies of the military, security officials told The Nation yesterday.

In an intelligence-led search and comb operation in Faisalabad, two high-value terrorists of Al-Qaeda and four facilitators of outlawed TTP and its splinter Jamaat-ul-Ahrar were hunted down and moved to a safe house of a leading security service for interrogation, they added.

‘Faisalabad catch’ is the result of a year-long ‘surveillance and tailing’ mission of a key intelligence service to hunt down the major terror targets hiding in a metropolitan city of the Punjab, they added.

However, the security officials declined to share the identities of those captured till the completion of interrogations in order to hunt their other linkages in the province or other parts of the country.

As a result of immediate cracking of the captured terror facilitators, the intelligence agency dealing with this task will carry out similar operations in some parts of the province falling under the highly sensitive zones to capture some their sleeper cells, disclosed the security officials.

Special search and comb operations were launched in the Punjab last month, dividing the province into sensitive and highly sensitive zones following the directions of the prime minister and the COAS for aggressive and accelerated counter-terror actions after the Quetta carnage.

In a similar special search and comb operation in Lahore on August 13, two hardcore terrorists belonging to Jamaat-ul-Ahrar were caught from Barkat Town, Shahdara Town, after an extensive surveillance and tail operation.

However, other identification details and profiles of the two have not been disclosed by the security officials to the paper till completion of the investigations to strike other sleeper cells of this group.

An ISPR statement said a search and comb operation was carried out in Faisalabad and its surroundings yesterday during which six terrorists were captured. The statement added the captured terrorists included the facilitators of suicide bombers. Some of the targets had been on terror watch list since 2014.

The highly sensitive zones in Punjab include Mianwali, Attock, Sargodha, Chakwal, Rawalpindi, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Okara, Faisalabad, Rajanpur-Rojhan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Bahawalpur and Lodhran districts, according to security officials.

The new anti-terror initiative of special search and comb operations are countrywide and mostly of the category of intelligence-led operations launched with elite counter-terror units of the armed forces. The category of intelligence-based operations is led by civilian security services and, in some cases, with the assistance of military agencies.

The military agencies will seek the assistance of their civilian counterparts where they deem necessary.

Intelligence-led operations were earlier carried out in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and parts of the other three provinces to take out high-value targets.

Enemies of the state were also neutralized in earlier anti-terror raids under the category of intelligence-based operations. Paramilitary forces and counter-terrorism departments also took part in such raids.