Pakistan kills 4 Islamic State-linked militants in shootout

MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani police acting on intelligence raided a militant hideout in a wooded area in the country’s east killing four members of an Islamic State-linked group, the country’s counter-terrorism agency said Sunday.

In a statement, the agency said the overnight raid was carried out in Bahawalpur, a deeply conservative district in Punjab province where outlawed Sunni militants have a strong presence.

It said police seized weapons and bomb making material, foiling a possible attack and claimed the slain militants wanted to target places of worship in a minority community. The agency statement provided no further details.

Pakistani security forces in recent years have carried out such raids to capture militants who fled the country’s former tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. These areas for years served as safe havens for militants, including the Islamic State-linked Dayesh group, which has been blamed for several militant attacks in the recent past.

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