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ISLAMABAD: Seven suspects arrested in a locality of the capital late on Friday night after an encounter are members of a splinter group of Harkatul Mujahideen and involved in targeted killings, extortion and acts of terrorism, police said here on Saturday.

Police were carrying out a search operation in Kural and Tarlai areas on the basis of an intelligence report that suspects were present there when they came under attack, triggering an exchange of fire. Police said the operation continued for five hours.

An unspecified number of accomplices of the arrested people escaped and took away explosives and weapons after the shootout with the police.

The actual number of suspects who escaped is yet to be established, but police believe that they were more than two and that they had taken away with a huge cache of arms and ammunitions and explosives.

“The escapees were the planners, masterminds and seniors in the group who take decisions and use other members,” they added.

According to the police, the group called itself Intaqmi (revenge) and it replaced its predecessor, the Tanveer Gondal group, in Islamabad which was busted by police last year. The group comprised members of Harkatul Mujahideen and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Police said members of the group were involved in targeted killings of Shias in Rawalpindi and Nowshera.

Meanwhile, the arrested people were produced in the anti-terrorism court which remanded them to the police custody.