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The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Balochistan Police on Wednesday claimed to have arrested a suspected terrorist associated with Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al Alami (LJ-A) during an operation in Quetta's Hazar Ganji area, DawnNewsTV reported.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) CTD Aitzaz Ahmed Goraya said Qari Ismail, the arrested suspect, was allegedly involved in 15 incidents of targeted killings that resulted in the deaths of at least 40 people including police and Frontier Corps personnel as well as members of the Hazara community.

Goraya said that six other suspects linked to LJ-A were killed in an earlier encounter with police, while the search was on for three others who had managed to escape. Police released the suspects' photos and appealed the public for "help", he added.

The DIG claimed that the members of the banned outfit — which also included students — had received training in Afghanistan. He alleged that the group was also involved in extortion and bank robberies.

There has been an increase in violence in Quetta, especially against the Hazara community. Last month at least five people from the Hazara community were killed in three separate incidents, prompting a hunger strike and sit-in protest by community activists and leaders. The protest was only called off after Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa met the leaders with a delegation that included Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.