A Pakistani anti-terrorism court Saturday sent three suspects of the attack on an Indian Air Force base in Punjab's Pathankot to the custody of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police for six days, Press Trust of India reports.
The suspects, identified as Khalid Mahmood, Irshadul Haque and Muhammad Shoaib, claimed innocence. The CTD have taken them to an undisclosed location for interrogation, Pakistani daily Dawn reports.
The arrests were made after the CTD conducted raids in parts of Pakistan's Punjab province, PTI reports. "The raids were conducted in Sialkot, Gujranwala, Jhelum and Dina cities in Punjab province during the last two days, and some suspects were arrested," a Pakistani interior ministry official was quoted as saying by the BBC Urdu.
"It is suspected that the arrested people have been in contact with the alleged extremists in the near past," the official added.
A joint investigation team formed by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been investigating the Jan. 2 attack on the Pathankot airbase using evidence provided by India. It registered an FIR against unnamed persons Feb. 19, after making several arrests during the course of investigation.
Meanwhile, security personnel in Pakistan are conducting raids across the country in search of other possible suspects. The joint team is also trying to trace the telephone numbers, provided to Pakistan by India, back to people believed to be involved in the attack, reported PTI citing BBC. These numbers were allegedly used to plan the attacks.
On Monday, Feb. 22, Sharif's foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz reportedly claimed Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar had been taken into "protective custody." India suspects Azhar was the mastermind of the airbase attack, in which seven security personnel along with all six militants were killed.