—File Photo

PESHAWAR: Three teenage boys, being transported from Karachi to the militant-infested tribal regions for training as suicide bombers, were arrested in northwestern Pakistan Wednesday along with their suspected handler, police said.

Mir Ahmed Khan, a local police official in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s Lakki Marwat district, told Dawn.com that the alleged handler was arrested along with the three minors on a tip-off that a gang would be shifting them to a North Waziristan training camp.

The suspects were taken into custody at Lakki Marwat’s Naurang Town bus stand from a passenger coach traveling from DI Khan to Bannu and onwards to North Waziristan Agency, he said.

Khan said the three boys – aged 12 to 14 years – were all from South Waziristan Agency but were presently residing in Karachi’s Awan Colony.

Their suspected handler identified only as Yahya — who belongs to South Waziristan Agency and is alleged to be part of a five-member gang operating in Karachi’s Sultanabad Colony — had been tasked with recruitment of suicide bombers, Khan said.

According to sources, the accused handler was presented before an Anti-Terrorist Court which remanded him into three-day police custody for further interrogation.

The three minors are likely to be presented before the local court on Thursday to record their statements.

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