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Forces start operation in Mastung, Panjgur

25 January, 2014

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QUETTA: The law enforcement agencies on Friday launched a massive search operation against terrorists in the Mastung and Panjgur districts of Balochistan and as many as 25 suspects had been arrested so far.

The operation was launched following the directives of Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik will monitor the operation.Hundreds of Frontier Corps (FC) and police personnel are taking part in the operation while helicopters are also being used to assist the forces.

FC Inspector General Maj Gen Ijaz Shahid conducted aerial supervision of the operation.Jointly launched by the FC and Anti-Terrorist Force (ATF), the search operation was initiated from Takhta Noza. After clearing it, the security forces continued sweeping the areas, including Daringarh and Dulai till afternoon.

The forces apprehended 25 suspected persons from the Bisham area of Mastung district. Three alleged terrorists were included among the arrested. The detainees were being interrogated.

The FC and other law enforcement agencies have blocked all entry, exit routes to apprehend the terrorist elements. Meanwhile, the government has suspended the buses carrying Shia pilgrims from the volatile Balochistan province to neighbouring Iran due to security concerns after a suicide attack killed 27 pilgrims this week, officials said on Friday.

"We have temporarily suspended the movement of buses on the highway until the security situation improves," a senior official of the provincial government told Reuters. The stranded pilgrims were brought back on C-130 aircraft.

The federal government provided a special C-130 aircraft to the Balochistan government to lift the stranded pilgrims at the Taftan border. The government took this decision on the direction of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

"No place is safe for us. There is no alternate road. We have to travel through this 'bloody highway´ each time we go on a pilgrimage," said Muhammad Ismail Changezi, an intending pilgrim.


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