KARACHI - Keeping in view the recent wave of terrorist attacks in the country, Sindh’s Home Department on Thursday warned of more such attacks at public places.

The department has directed the law- enforcement authorities to beef up the security at major public places, including city’s shopping centers particularly located in the downtown.

The areas and buildings declared highly sensitive are Sindh High Court (SHC), Sindh Assembly (SA) buildings, Empress Market, Zainab Market, markets at MA Jinnah Road and restaurants at Do Darya, Clifton.

Sources privy to the matter revealed to The Nation that large shopping malls located in different areas of the city, would be the likely target of terrorists. They also said that parks, educational institutions, hospitals, mosques, imambarghas and other crowded areas were also no exception, and were highly sensitive.

It is important to note here that University of Karachi has already imposed a state of emergency at its campus and restricted the entrance of vehicles without entry pass. 

It’s also worth mentioning here that the shrines, which had initially been closed for three days subsequent to the blast at the shrine of Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalander in Sehwan Sharif, are yet to be reopened even after the passage of one week. Sources also divulged that threats were of multiple natures. They said that recent coordinated attacks across the country proved the existence of a strong network of militants. Therefore, extreme security arrangements have been made by the law enforcement agencies across the city.

Checking of suspicious persons and vehicles at various spots has been enhanced.

Quoting different messages passed on to them by their seniors, sources in police told this scribe that they had been directed to intercept various suspicious vehicles.

They informed that police was hunting down number of suspicious vehicles across the city with incomplete documents.

Security agencies have directed the relevant authorities to also beef up the security at the societies inhabited by the people belonging to a specific sect. However, the role of social media in spreading panic among the people is no less important. Several messages, quoting different sources, are doing the rounds on social media these days, creating anxiety in the Karachiites. The security situation has also become fragile due to the killings of number of militants in encounters recently, which has increased the fears of a possible backlash.

20 outlaws arrested,

including three militants

Meanwhile, the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have claimed to have arrested at least 20 outlaws, including three militants associated with defunct terrorist organisations, in various raids and operations carried out in various parts of the metropolis on Thursday.

Sources said that the LEAs conducted a raid in Gulshan-e-Hadid and arrested three militants, including a foreigner, and also recovered weapons and ammunition from their possession. One of the arrested militants included a school teacher. They were later shifted to an unknown location for further investigation.

As per LEAs claim, the terrorists were already involved in carrying out various terrorist activities and were planning more attacks.

However, identities of those arrested are yet to be disclosed. On the other hand, Brigade police arrested a Tanzania National residing in the city illegally since 2015.

Police suspect the alien is a part of a militant network while further investigation is underway. On the other side, Karachi police claimed to have arrested 14 outlaws in various raids conducted in the limits of Manghopir, Lyari, Jauharabad, Chakiwara, Landhi, Mominabad and other police stations and also recovered weapons and narcotics from them.

 

Mansoor Khan