LAHORE: Pakistan Army said Saturday it had thwarted a plot to launch a major terror attack in Lahore on Easter Sunday, after an army raid in the city that killed a suspected militant.
Lahore suffered one of Pakistan’s deadliest attacks in 2016 — a Jamaat-ul-Ahrar suicide bomb in a park last Easter that killed more than 70 including many children.
The eastern city, the country’s cultural capital, has been on edge since a fresh wave of attacks struck Pakistan earlier this year.
In the latest incident, a gunbattle broke out during an overnight operation by security forces in a building in Lahore, killing a suspected militant and leaving four soldiers wounded.
“A major terrorist attack planned for Easter in Lahore tomorrow was successfully foiled by intelligence agencies,” a military statement said. It gave no details about the affiliation of the militant.
Security forces also arrested a woman and seized suicide jackets and explosives, it added.
Pakistan suffered a surge of violent attacks in February that killed 130 people and shook citizens, who had been emboldened by a tentative sense of growing security.
The attacks included a bomb blast in Lahore on February 13 which killed 14 people in an assault claimed by Pakistani Taliban faction.
Seven people were also killed and 19 wounded in the city during a Taliban suicide attack targeting a census team on April 5.
The renewed violence has dented optimism after the country appeared to be making strong gains in its decade-and-a-half long war on militancy, with analysts speaking of a militant resurgence.