KARACHI - Terror threat is looming large in the City as 9th and 10th of Muharram are fast approaching and Sindh government has also put a ban on pillion riding on these two days.

Law enforcement agencies have chalked out a security plan for the main processions of 9th and 10th Muharram. Police and Rangers would deploy their full strength at the routes of main processions.

Police high ups have been directed to ensure security of each procession and Majlis as over 170 small and large processions and some 650 Majalis are scheduled on Wednesday (today). Sources privy to the matter disclosed that agencies have warned about possible terrorist attacks in the City during Ashura and even in the entire holy month. Police high ups have accepted the existence of defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangwi in the city but unable to bust the groups.

Sources said the National Crises Management Cell and intelligence agencies had warned the provincial government about the possible threat of terrorism in the metropolis. Police sources informed the decision to seal nearby buildings on the routes of Muharram processions have been taken into account.

They revealed the assassination of Hakimullah Mehsud has also multiplied the level of threats. The NCMC in a recent statement pointed out that Al-Qaeda has dispatched its two different groups for Karachi with an assignment to take revenge of Hakimullah’s killing.

Meanwhile, Police and Rangers claimed to have arrested 32 suspects including the militants of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan during ongoing targeted raids here on Tuesday.

District West Police Chief DIG Javed Odho while addressing a press conference said the police had arrested two militants of outlawed TTP.

They were identified as Abdullah alias Mukhtar and Hameed alias Hamid alias Pehlwan. “They were involved in targeted killing of at least 16 policemen in Site area,” DIG Odho claimed. He said the police were looking for them since long and finally managed to arrest them after an encounter when police raided their hideout in Mochko locality of Baldia Town. It also recovered two hand grenades, a 7mm rifle, two 9mm pistols and ammunitions. “They were trained target killers and got militancy training from Afghanistan,” he added. They were given task by their leadership to kill policemen and their informers. The policemen who were killed by them included two commandos of the Rapid Response Force of the police. Cases against them were registered while further investigation was underway.

Separately, District East police claimed to have recovered a huge cache of weapons from Shah Faisal locality. The recovery of the weapons was disclosed during a press conference held by District East SSP Pir Shah. The recovered weapons included four Kalashnikovs with 550 ammunition, 244 rifles with 275 ammunition, seven pistols with 330 ammunition, over 750 ammunition of G-3 rifle and repeaters. “These weapons were concealed in three bags and were recovered during sweeping before the Muharram procession in Shah Faisal Colony,” said SSP Shah.

In another raid, at least two criminals were arrested during an encounter with the police in Korangi’s Zaman Town area. The arrested criminals were identified as Ali and Ahmed Ali. Police officials said the arrested persons had been involved in a number of cases of street crime. Further investigation was underway.

Meanwhile, rangers claimed to have apprehended 28 criminals during ongoing targeted raids in various areas of the metropolis, including Macchar Colony, Metrovile, Saadi Town, Azeempura, Rafa-e-Aam Society, North Nazimabad, Lines Area, Drigh Colony, Gol Market in Paposh Nagar, Mujahid Colony, Liaquatabad and Mominabad areas.

Snap checking was also carried out in Mochi Morr in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Korangi’s Export Processing Zone, SITE, Kharadar and Garden areas. According to the Rangers’ spokesperson, during the raids and snap checking, 28 hardened criminals were arrested along with the weapons.