Authorities beefed up security across Pakistan to ensure the peaceful celebration of Eid-ul-Azha even as law enforcers averted a terror attack in the port city of Karachi today by defusing three bombs found near a mosque.
Tens of thousands of police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed for security duties across the country as people prepared to celebrate Eid Wednesday under the shadow of terror attacks that have killed dozens in recent weeks.
Police claimed they had averted a major terrorist attack ahead of Eid by defusing three bombs found near a mosque at Sohrab Goth area of Karachi.
Officials said the bombs could be fired from a gun or thrown by hand. The bomb disposal squad took the bombs to a nearby police station and defused them.
The bombs were hidden in bushes a short distance from the mosque. Police said a trash collector spotted them and alerted authorities. “Apparently they were hidden there to carry out some sort of terrorist attack on Eid or during Eid prayers,” a senior police official said.
In the Islamabad Capital Territory,875 policemen and 15 teams of Anti-Terrorism Force commandos were deployed to guard 685 mosques and 40 Shia Imambargahs.
Besides the security personnel,1,140 private guards will be deployed for security outside mosques and imambargahs,state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Police pickets have been set up at key points in Islamabad to ensure effective checking. Special police deployment will be made at Faisal Mosque,where most VVIPs offer Eid prayers,and walk-through gates and scanners will be installed as part of security measures.
In Punjab province,police were put on high alert to cope with any incident during the Eid holidays. All leaves have been cancelled for security personnel during the Eid holidays. Police training schools and colleges too will remain open.
Over 60,000 police personnel will be deployed at sensitive areas,including markets,mosques,seminaries,government buildings and cattle markets.
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah directed provincial police chief Shahid Nadeem Baloch to ensure foolproof security at all places of worship,eidgahs and shopping centres.
In Peshawar,which bore the brunt of recent terror attacks,police were ordered to be on high alert. The entry of motorcycles and vehicles in crowded markets was banned and plainclothes policemen were deployed in sensitive areas and shopping centres.
The Balochistan government has given police powers for one month to the paramilitary Frontier Corps. The powers were granted because of deteriorating law and order.