Thousands held as crackdown against terrorists in Punjab

LAHORE/MULTAN/FAISALABAD – During their crackdown against terrorists in Punjab, the security forces rounded up thousands of suspected militants in different cities.

According to the reports, Pakistan Army, Rangers, police and other law-enforcement agencies have been carrying out joint action hideouts of banned militant organisations, since a suicide blast in Lahore left more than 70 people dead.

A joint investigation team (JIT) has been constituted to investigate the blast that also left more than 300 people injured. The officials said that the army and Rangers raided suspected hideouts of militants in Lahore, Gujranwala, Multan, Faisalabad and others cities, rounding up dozens of banned outfit members.

Many of them were released after interrogation. All individuals included in the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act were also arrested. Pakistan’s army launched the crackdown on orders of Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also separately ordered anti-militants operation in South Punjab.

“Number of suspect terrorists and facilitators arrested and huge cache of arms and ammunition recovered,” Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) Director General Major Asim Bajwa tweeted yesterday. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed in a televised address Monday evening to avenge the attack.

“Terrorists cannot dent our resolve. Our struggle will continue until the complete elimination of the menace of terrorism,” Nawaz said. The prime minister called off his scheduled visit to US where he was to attend the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington this week.

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