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Taliban planning another revenge attack on Chehlum

23 December, 2013

KARACHI: Security has been tightened across the city for Chehlum of Imam Hussain (RA).

According to intelligence sources, the Taliban were planning to attack members of the Shia community in response to the clashes in Rawalpindi on Ashura. The attackers would use vehicles with fake official number plates or motorcycles or rickshaws with applied-for-registration plates.

Police have declared 14 processions scheduled in Karachi highly sensitive and 150 sensitive. Similarly, 29 majalis are considered highly sensitive and 170 sensitive.

In order to avoid untoward incidents, almost 10,000 cops include 1,450 non-gazetted officers, 8,300 constables and 54 policewomen have been stationed. Moreover, military troops would be deployed throughout the province to assist police and Rangers.

Karachi police chief, AIG Shahid Hayat Khan, recently held a meeting at his office to discuss the security plan for Chehlum and directed the DIGs and SPs of the three Ranges and also officers of the investigation department to take extra security steps.

The entrances of imambargahs are to be guarded jointly by the police and private security company personnel. Police officials would inform the managements of imambargahs how to handle the situation if they see somebody or something suspicious.

Female volunteers would also be deployed at imambargah entry points to deal with the threat of female suicide bombers. As per the security plan, vehicles would not be allowed to park nearby, and instead are to be parked at a safe distance from the imambargahs or other places for religious gatherings.

A temporary control room and police emergency centres are to be set up at specified locations on the eve of Chehlum. Additionally, cops would be deployed on rooftops and 150 buildings on the routes of Chehlum processions have been selected for installing surveillance cameras.

The Inter-Services Public Relations has said it had received a letter from Sindh Home Department asking for the deployment of troops throughout the province. A meeting took place at the headquarters and it was decided that soldiers would be deployed at the sensitive locations of Karachi and other parts of Sindh.

Meanwhile, cellular services would be suspended and pillion riding banned in several cities of Sindh, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Khairpur, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Larkana on December 23 and 24.

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