The local police claimed to have arrested a terrorist group, which had planned to target Ashura processions and attack foreigners associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

“Police and other security agencies conducted a joint operation and arrested a group of hardened terrorists, who had planned to attack Ashura processions and foreigners working on CPEC,” DPO Mujeebur Rehman told a press conference here on Sunday.

He said that owing to security reasons and sensitivity of the nature of raids carried out in Balkaot, the names of the arrested terrorists couldn’t be revealed to the press.

“Soon the names of the arrested terrorists would be made public though media but at this stage it is not possible owing to sensitivity of the situation and more arrests,” said the DPO.

He said that some 30 kilograms of explosive, ball bearing, suicide jackets, wires and fuses, army uniforms, material used in making of explosive devices and video cassettes were recovered from the arrested terrorists.

The official said that the arrested persons were involved in subversive activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of the country.

“Though we have a shortage of forces and have sought increase in it but we are still vigilant to avert terrorist activities in the district and this huge success is also a result of constant efforts,” he said.

Mr Rehman said that Mansehra was a sensitive district so people should remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement agencies to foil the plans of terrorists.

According to sources, after North Waziristan, Khyber Agency and Peshawar, Mansehra had enough presence of terrorist outfits.

“Being a central place for the economic corridor and its geographical location, Mansehra is also an abode for terrorists and spy agencies from neighbouring countries. The arrested terrorists had planned attacks like that of Babusar top in which over 24 passengers were killed,” said sources.