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Funeral prayers for three victims held, curfew resumes

18 November, 2013

RAWALPINDI: People offering funeral prayers of three victims of Rawalpndi incident at Liaquat Bagh.
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RAWALPINDI: The funeral prayers for three victims of violence, that took place on Friday, were held on Sunday amid tight security, and to avoid any untoward incident, the authorities again imposed curfew in the city after a four-hour relaxation.

A large number of politicians, relatives of the deceased, clerics and people from all walks of life offered the funeral prayers.

The city continued to buckle under tension, while after the funeral prayers, the Rawalpindi district administration re-imposed curfew in the city.

Earlier, the authorities announced three-and-a-half-hour relaxation in curfew from 9:30pm on Saturday to 1am on Sunday to allow residents to buy eatables and other household items.

A press note issued by the DCO office said that nine people died and 50 others sustained injuries in the sectarian violence on Friday, during which a seminary and a cloth market were torched. The law and order situation in the city was now under control, the press note added.

On the other hand, mobile phone service in Rawalpindi remained suspended throughout the day. However, the service was restored later on Sunday evening. In Islamabad, mobile phone service was suspended after 1am on Saturday and was reopened at 2pm on Sunday.

On the third day after the unrest, personnel of army and Rangers continued to patrol Rawalpindi, while the curfew was extended in the limits of 19 police stations in Pothohar and Rawal Towns.

Troops also patrolled Murree Road, Raja Bazaar, Liaquat Road, Iqbal Road and Bohar Bazaar.

Even with the relaxation in the curfew, the distraught citizens stayed home with scarce supply of edibles left at their disposal.

In addition to the curfew, Section 144 was also imposed in the city.

The federal capital was put on a security high alert and all entry points to the city were blocked with containers.

Security was heightened at mosques and other places of worship in Islamabad, whereas, cell phone service was suspended in the city for more than 12 hours.

Strict identity check was carried out in the Red Zone and its adjoining areas including the President's House, the Prime Minister's House and the Parliament House.

The Red Zone was sealed off with containers, while the Rangers were deployed at sensitive buildings there.

It should be mentioned here that police were given the responsibility of the security of the President's House, the Prime Minister's House and the PM Secretariat, while the Rangers and the Frontier Constabulary were to be called in only for an emergency.

Sources said the personnel at the checkpoints were directed to search every vehicle including those belonging to government officials, law-enforcement agencies, armed forces and MNAs before allowing them to enter the Red Zone.

When asked about the overall security arrangements, Islamabad Inspector General of Police's Personal Secretary Zia Qamar said the security of every individual was the responsibility of police but the Red Zone and the Diplomatic Enclave were high security zones.

He said the security was being beefed up in Islamabad following the sectarian violence in Rawalpindi that claimed 10 lives.

End.

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