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Arrests in and around Lahore amid `high alert`

By Asif Chaudhry 2016-08-11
LAHORE: Law-Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) have taken into custody more than 50 suspects in Lahore and outskirts following a high alert issued by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta), Islamabad, about possible terror attacks at Wagah and Ganda Singh borders.

Nacta through an alert dis-patched late on Tuesday to the Punjab Director General of Pakistan Rangers, the Home Department and the provincial police chief asl(ed for high preventive measures to protect the public as well as security personnel.

`Tehreek-i-Taliban`s Fazalullah groupisplanningtotargetparade at Wagah Border in Lahore and Ganda Singh Border in Kasur on Aug 13, 14 or 15,` the security alert says.

The letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn, also says two suicide bombers have been sent to hit these targets. `Extreme vigilance and heightened security measures are suggested to avoid any untoward incident,` it says.A deadly terrorist attack had hit Wagah in November 2014, when over 60 people, including children and security personnel, were killed and 200 others injured minutes after the flag-lowering ceremony at the border.

`We have taken measures in the wake of the security alert issued by Nacta about possible terror attack at two important places -in Lahore and Kasur,` Capital City Police Officer Amin Wains told Dawn. He said police had launched the combing, search and sweep and intelligence-based operation late on Tuesday, effecting arrests in many parts of the city.

During operation the city police detained 50 suspects and releasedmany others after verification. He said the suspects would be quizzed and kept into custody till veriHcation process as a majority of them could not produce documents related to their identity.

The CCPO said major security enhancement had been made around the Wagah Border.

Our Gujranwala correspondent adds: The Home Department alerted the police and other security forces that 16 suicide attackers had entered Punjab and terrorist activities were expected in the next 72 hours (Thursday to Saturday).

Security forces have been put on alert and holidays of the police officials have been cancelled.