Pakistan says it has arrested 3 ISIS members who were planning to attack govt buildings

LAHORE (Reuters) - Counter-terrorist police raided a building in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday (June 26) and arrested three men affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who were planning to attack government buildings, the authorities said on Monday (June 27).

The raid came as police said that the Pakistani Sunni extremist group Lashkar-e-Janghvi (LeJ) had been seeking to build relations with ISIS before LeJ chief Malik Ishaq was killed last July.

Lahore's counter terrorism department said in a statement that their agents seized 1.5kg of explosives and detonators apart from arresting the three men.

The CTD named the three arrested men but gave no details of how they were connected to ISISe.

Two senior security officials told Reuters that ISIS and LeJ leader Ishaq had been in contact with each other since 2014 and were seeking to establish a foothold for Islamic State operations in Pakistan.

"(Ishaq) was serious about establishing a working relationship with ISIS because of his anti-Shia agenda," said one senior police official in Lahore.

The officials said the nascent cooperation was cut short when the Pakistani authorities killed Ishaq in July 2015 along with his two sons and deputy.

Pakistani officials have generally denied that ISIS has gained a foothold in the country, though there are occasional reports of arrests or killing of people affiliated with the group.