GILGIT, Oct 5: Security forces claimed to have caught two alleged high-profile terrorists who, according to police, have links with the attack on foreign mountaineers near Nanga Parbat. The suspects were caught in the remote northern town of Chilas.

A police officer told Dawn that the arrests were made during a massive search operation in the town after security forces received a tip-off about the presence of the two alleged terrorists.

He claimed that the arrested men were directly involved in the Nanga Parbat incident of June 23 in which 10 foreign mountaineers were killed.

He said a door-to-door search lasted 30 hours and that further raids were expected. The arrested men were hiding in a house. They were disguised in women’s clothing and were trying to escape at the time of the arrest.

He said police found the hideout of the two men after intercepting some phone calls. The entire area had been cordoned off for launching the operation, he added.

The Shaheen Coat, Takia and Jalil points of Chilas had been sealed and no one was allowed to enter or leave the town.

The SSP of Diamer, Mohammad Naveed, confirmed the arrest and said a joint team of police and other security forces launched the operation.

He did not disclose identities of the arrested men and said there were chances of a breakthrough after interrogation.

He said a huge quantity of weapons had been seized during the operation.

The SSP said 15 other suspects had also been taken into custody, but police released them later because they had no criminal record.

Earlier, the SSP told media personnel about threats of terrorism in the town.

He said security had been beefed up in the town and that security forces were prepared to cope with any untoward situation.