GILIGT: Police foiled a sabotage attempt by defusing a bomb planted near a mosque in Gilgit city on Friday night.

Jutial police station SHO Syed Kamran told Dawn that police were informed late on Friday by residents that they had seen three suspects entering Ali Mosque in defence colony and then immediately leaving the building around 10pm on Friday. Afterwards, he added that a police team arrived at the scene and discovered an explosive device planted near the boundary wall of the mosque in a bag.

He said that personnel of bomb disposal squad were called who got the houses near the mosque vacated and then defused the bomb, weighing seven kilogram. Syed Kamran said that police registered case against unknown suspects and launched search operation to arrest them.

The police official praised the area people by timely informing the police about the presence of the bomb, thus averting a big disaster.

Meanwhile, the local people took to the streets on Saturday to condemn terrorists for trying to bomb religious places. The protesters blocked Sharah-i-Quid-i-Azam and chanted slogans against terrorist act. They demanded immediate arrest of the saboteurs and provision of foolproof security at places of worship.

Due to the protest, traffic on the road remained suspended for two hours.

Addressing the protesters, MWM political secretary, Gilgit chapter, Syed Yasobuddin criticised the police for failing to protect religious places from terrorists. He demanded that the government should start an army-led operation to purge the region of anti-state elements, who were bent up disturbing peaceful environment in the region.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2014