Pakistan seized three bomb-laden vehicles and arrested three suspected suicide attackers, uncovering a terror plot just days after an assault on the Danish Embassy, officials said Friday.
Authorities ramped up security near the enclave where most foreign diplomatic missions are located. The U.S. Embassy strongly advised Americans to limit nonessential movement in the capital and nearby Rawalpindi.
“They (the suspects) had very destructive designs,” city police chief Nasir Durrani told The Associated Press. “They wanted to create mayhem on a wide scale.”
He said authorities were still investigating if the suspects had intended to target foreign embassies.
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He did not identify them or say whether they were affiliated with al-Qaida or any other militant group.
An Internet posting Thursday, purportedly from al-Qaida in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for Monday's bombing outside the Danish Embassy in Islamabad, which killed six people, including one Dane.
The group threatened more attacks on countries where Prophet Muhammad caricatures are published. The images carried in various Danish and other Western newspapers over the past three years have sparked periodic unrest in the Muslim world.
Police and intelligence agents late Thursday arrested about six suspects, including three suicide bombers, in Rawalpindi, about seven miles from Islamabad, officials said.
The authorities seized three vehicles laden with more than 2,200 pounds of explosives, Rawalpindi police said.
Durrani said the arrested men were Pakistanis and their targets included an office in Rawalpindi of President Pervez Musharraf, a longtime U.S. ally in its war on terror. Pakistan's army also has its headquarters in the city.