LAHORE: At least 205 suspects, mostly Afghan nationals, were arrested in a province-wide search and sweep operation by law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in the last 24 hours.

A spokesman for the Punjab police said the CTD, police and intelligence agencies continued search operation in the entire province on the fifth day to arrest the suspects involved in terror activities.

He said the police were focusing on intelligence-based search operations to get maximum results from it while all the arrested suspects were shifted to some undisclosed location for further interrogation.

He said the deployment at all sensitive government installations had been increased and the operation in and around localities of shrines in the province was also being conducted.

The search operation was conducted in Badami Bagh, Raiwind, Civil Lines, Old Anarkali, Gulshan-i-Ravi, Gulberg, Ghalib Market, Nishter Colony, Sanda, Naseerabad, Township and other areas.

A total 144 suspects were arrested in these areas of the city by LEAs. Police also recovered two pistols, 78 bullets, one Kalashnikov and one rifle from them.

The police also used bio-metric machines for identification of people and those who failed to produce documents to prove their identity were taken into custody.

The LEAs closed Bibian Pak Daman shrine after a suicide blast at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh.

The shrine administrators said they did not know when the shrine would be opened.

The LEAs arrested 58 suspects, including 19 Afghan nationals, from different areas of Kasur, Pattoki and Chunian under the National Action Plan (NAP).

The Afghan suspects were arrested from Pattoki and Kasur areas of Din Gar and Niaz Nagar. LEAs also claimed to have recovered illegal weapons from them.

Kasur DPO Ali Nasir Rizvi constituted several teams headed by circle DSPs in the district to monitor the combing operations.

LEAs also arrested 42 Afghan nationals during a midnight search operation in various parts of Sialkot.

Sialkot DPO Dr Abid Khan said the Rangpura police arrested 34 Afghan nationals residing illegally near Jinnah Stadium bridge.

The Cantonment police arrested three and Hajipura police five Afghan nationals.

The DPO said the Afghan nationals failed to prove their identity.

Our Kasur and Sialkot correspondents contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2017

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