News / Asia

Pakistan on High Security Alert

Pakistan Pakistani police officers surround the Supreme Court building Aug 2, 2013. Police are on alert against  potential militant attacks in the capital, Islamabad.
Pakistan Pakistani police officers surround the Supreme Court building Aug 2, 2013. Police are on alert against potential militant attacks in the capital, Islamabad.
TEXT SIZE - +
Ayaz Gul
— Authorities in Pakistan have put in place special security measures in major cities, including Islamabad, citing threats ahead of the annual Eid festival marking the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. The move comes just days after a major jailbreak in a northwestern city that freed nearly 250 prisoners, including “dangerous terrorists.”

In the wake of rising militant and sectarian attacks in recent years, security is usually tightened across Pakistan in the closing days of Ramadan, when people often crowd major mosques to worship round the clock.

However, a top police officer in Islamabad, Jamil Hashmi, acknowledged that this year special security measures have been put in place, citing “certain threats”. He did not elaborate and said that police teams, assisted by paramilitary forces, also scoured forests in the Margalla hills surrounding the capital city.

“Close to the Eid [festival] we do the same every year because about 1,500 people are sitting in the Faisal Mosque and we have to take care of them as well. There are certain threats as well so keeping in view the threats, we have made extraordinary arrangements. We have made search operations in the Margalla hills. On top of the hills there are some new pickets [troop deployments]," said Hashmi.

Some Pakistan officials are reported saying reinforcements also have been sent to protect sensitive locations in Islamabad that face a security threat. Among them are the parliament building and the Faisal Mosque, the largest in Pakistan.

Despite heightened security, a bomb exploded inside a passenger train traveling between Lahore and Karachi. More than a dozen people were wounded.  There are no claims of responsibility.

Suspected Taliban militants have unleashed a bloody insurgency that has killed thousands of Pakistanis in recent years while Sunni Muslim extremists have stepped up deadly attacks on the nation's minority Shiite community.

It is unclear whether the security alert is meant to defend against a specific target or whether it is a reaction to last week’s massive jail break in northwestern Pakistan.

Heavily armed local Taliban fighters disguised as police assaulted a prison in Dera Ismail Khan and freed nearly 250 inmates.

Pakistani officials say the escapees included around 45 they considered “dangerous terrorists”. The majority remain at large.

That jail break and similar attacks on prisons in Iraq and Libya prompted the international police agency, Interpol, to the put the world on security alert. In addition, the United States and other Western governments have closed embassies in recent days in several countries in the Middle East and Africa because of security threats.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid