Pakistani authorities have arrested at least 42 suspects linked with Islamic State extremists, a minister said Monday.
The arrests were made during raids by the security forces over the weekend across different areas, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said.
The arrests included Islamabad's Islamic State chief Amir Mansoor, his deputy Abdullah Mansoori and chief for southern province of Sindh, Umer Kathio, the minister said.
"The militants were tasked to set up sleeper cells for IS," Sanaullah said, using an acronym for Islamic State.
The latest arrests came after last week police nabbed 13 suspected militants from the same province.
Pakistan officially rejects any presence of Islamic State on its soil but the law enforcing agencies frequently arrest suspects having links with the groups.
Last week, police in Punjab claimed arresting a man whose wife had left for Syria with four children to join the Islamic State.