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Islamabad suicide blast suspects arrested: Sanaullah

Islamabad issues ‘special’ plan amid rising security concerns

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Tuesday that those suspected of involvement in the suicide attack in Islamabad last week – that left a policeman martyred and several injured – have been arrested.

The incident, in which four police officers and two civilians were injured, took place in Islamabad’s I-10/4 sector on December 23. The police had said that a suicide attacker, riding a cab with a woman, blew himself up after the vehicle was stopped over suspicion. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for the attack. In a tweet on Tuesday, the minister confirmed that the miscreants and their handlers behind the attack had been arrested.

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“The taxi driver was innocent. He was hired by the suspects and had no involvement [in the attack]. The terrorists moved from Kurram Agency and stayed in Rawalpindi. We have rounded up four to five people,” he said. The development comes days after the Islamabad police formed a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the bombing. According to the notification, the JIT was constituted under Section 19-A of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 to investigate the case registered on Dec 23 on charges of 7ATA, along with PPC Section 302, 324, 427, and 4/5 Explosive Act at the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police station, Islamabad.

Meanwhile, since Friday, security has been beefed up in the capital city. The Islamabad police have issued a “special” plan that introduces 25 temporary checkposts in the city and requires citizens and foreigners to carry their identification documents with them. According to the security plan, shared on Islamabad police’s official Twitter, entry points of the Red Zone will be recorded via Safe City cameras while video surveillance of metro bus passengers would also be conducted.

Police asked the capital’s citizens as well as foreigners to carry their identification documents with them. Authorities also warned of action over non-specimen number plates and unregistered vehicles, directing citizens to ensure their vehicles had number plates issued by the excise office. Police said citizens who had employed unregistered local or foreign workers would also be investigated. They further appealed to citizens to inform authorities of any unusual activity on the 15-helpline.

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This plan has been devised as Pakistan continues to see a rise in terror incidents in recent days, particularly after the militant TTP called off the ceasefire between them and the government in late November. Two days after the I-10 blast, the US embassy in the capital had issued a security alert, prohibiting its staff from visiting the city’s Marriott Hotel due to concerns of a “possible attack”. Moreover, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Australia issued separate security alerts on Monday, asking their citizens to limit their movement in Pakistan.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan on Tuesday assured the nation that armed forces and law enforcement agencies were capable of dealing with the menace of terrorism. Talking to a private media channel, the minister said “Let me make it absolutely clear to the nation that the extremists would never be allowed to dominate the law of the state”. Answering a query, he said that on the issue of terrorism, the federal government was ready to provide all kinds of assistance to all provincial governments, including KP.


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