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Pakistan Arrests 13 Militants Linked to Al-Qaida, Taliban


Pakistani police say they have arrested 13 militants with links to al-Qaida or the Taliban during raids Monday in southern and eastern Pakistan.

Police say seven men belonging to the banned al-Qaida-linked group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi were detained in the southern port city of Karachi with suicide vests and explosives. Police also recovered two kilograms of heroin from the suspects.

In the eastern city of Sargodha, police captured six suspected Taliban militants and seized suicide vests as well as bomb-making material. The suspects were reportedly planning attacks on politicians, foreigners and places of worship for Pakistan's Shi'ite minority.

In other news, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed French U.N. Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert as his special envoy in charge of humanitarian affairs for Pakistan.

A U.N. statement Monday said the post was created to assist Islamabad and the international community in responding to the present humanitarian recovery and reconstruction needs related to the country's displacement crisis.

Also Monday, Pakistan's interior minister, Rehman Malik said the Taliban may have killed relatives of Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud on suspicion that they leaked information about his whereabouts.

The minister said intelligence reports indicate that Pakistan's Taliban movement, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, kidnapped and killed Mehsud's father-in-law and other family members.

Baitullah Mehsud is believed to have been killed in a suspected U.S. drone attack on August 5.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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