Islamabad: Pakistani security forces said Wednesday they had foiled a plot to bomb Independence Day celebrations in Karachi after arresting a Taliban gang in the city.
Militants had been planning to detonate a van loaded with explosives in the country`s largest city during Friday`s celebrations marking independence from Britain in 1947, a statement from the military said.
"In an intelligence-based operation security forces have... foiled a terrorist bid planned to sabotage 14 August celebrations in Karachi," the statement said.
The military released photos showing four men detained in the operation along with the van, a motorbike and bomb-making equipment.
Police and government paramilitary forces have been mounting an operation against militants and criminals in Karachi since September 2013.
The city of 20 million people, Pakistan`s economic capital, has been racked in recent years by criminal, ethnic, political and religious violence.
In June last year the military launched a major operation against Taliban strongholds in Pakistan`s tribal northwest aimed at ending the bloody insurgency that has plagued the country for more than a decade.
The offensive intensified after December last year when Taliban militants attacked a school in Peshawar and killed over 150 people -- mostly children.