A Taliban plot to target a flag-hoisting ceremony at the Wagah land border with India was foiled with the arrest of 10 people, including a top militant commander, Pakistani security agencies claimed on Friday.
Khalilullah, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commander of southern part of Punjab province, and a 17-year-old would-be suicide bomber were captured at Manawan in Lahore over a week ago by intelligence agencies.
Acting on information provided by them, security officials subsequently arrested eight more men. Explosives and documents were recovered from the possession of the arrested men.
Officials said the arrested men had disclosed during interrogation that they intended to target a flag-hoisting ceremony at the Wagah land border with India, where a large number of people usually gather every day to witness the event.
Khalilullah, described as a close aide of slain Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, was wanted by the US, officials said.
Lahore police chief Pervez Rathore said Khalilullah and his team were involved in almost all recent terror attacks across Punjab. He allegedly masterminded the December 7 suicide attack on Moon Market here that killed over 60 people.
"He is also on the US list of most wanted terrorists and carried a head money of millions of dollars," Rathore said.
Khalilullah told investigators that he had a team of "600 suicide bombers" in Swat.