Pakistan Army launches new anti-terror offensive
February 23 2017 12:06 AM
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Pakistani Rangers personnel keep guard while patrolling on the streets in Islamabad.

Agencies/Islamabad

In its continuing fight against terrorism, the Pakistan Army yesterday launched “Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad” — which roughly translates to “Operation to eliminate discord” — across the country, the military said.
The operation aims at indiscriminately eliminating the “residual/latent threat of terrorism”, consolidating the gains made in other military operations, and further ensuring the security of Pakistan’s borders, a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations said.
Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Civil Armed Forces and other security and law enforcing agencies will actively participate in and “intimately support” the armed forces’ efforts to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country, the statement added.
“The effort entails conduct of Broad Spectrum Security/Counter-Terrorism (CT) operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country, and focus on more effective border security management,” the ISPR said.
“Countrywide de-weaponisation and explosive control are additional cardinals of the effort.
Pursuance of National Action Plan will be the hallmark of this operation,” it added.
The announcement followed a meeting between Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, the corps commanders of Punjab, the Director General of Pakistan Rangers Punjab, and the heads of intelligence agencies.
Pakistan has been hit by a series of suicide bomb attacks in recent days, claiming more than 100 lives.
Punjab had requested the federal government to deploy over 2,000 Rangers personnel in the province, who would be given policing powers to conduct intelligence-based operations (IBOs) against militants, wherever required and with full authority.
Pakistan seems to be experiencing a fresh resurgence in terror attacks.
The worst attack was at the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan. The attack claimed the lives of at least 88 people and injured more than 300 when a suicide bomber targeted devotees during the evening dhamaal.
On Feb 16, an explosive device had targeted an Army convoy in the Awaran area of Balochistan, killing three soldiers.
On Feb 15, a suicide bomber struck in Mohmand, killing three personnel of the Khasadar force and five civilians. The attack was claimed by Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP).
The same day, a suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into a vehicle carrying judges in Peshawar’s Hayatabad Phase 5 area, killing the driver and injuring its four other occupants. The attack was claimed by the TTP too.
On Feb 13, a suicide bomber had struck a protest on Lahore’s Charing Cross interchange, killing 13 and injuring 85. The attack had happened right outside the gates of Punjab’s Provincial Assembly.
The attack was claimed by the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. Security officials inspecting the area after the suicide attack at the shrine.
On the same day, two personnel of Balochistan’s bomb disposal squad were killed as they attempted to defuse an explosive device planted under the Sariab Road bridge in Quetta, the provincial capital.




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