The heightened measures began after a terrorist attack on the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine. Pic/AFP
Lahore: An imminent attack on a shrine in Multan in Pakistan's Punjab province was thwarted with the killing of five terrorists, police said yesterday, days after a suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in Sindh claimed 88 lives.
The terrorists belonged to Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) group, which claimed a suicide blast in Lahore earlier this month in which 15 people died, the Crime Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab police said.
A CTD spokesman said the department received information that eight JuA terrorists had planned to attack a shrine in Multan. The terrorists were hiding and waiting for orders from JuA chief Omer Khalid Khorasani to launch the attack yesterday. Five were killed in a gunbattle while three escaped. Meanwhile, over 300 people, have been arrested in the Punjab province as part of heightened security measures.
"More than 350 suspects have been taken into custody mostly Afghans since the Lahore blast last Monday," said Punjab police spokesman Niyab Haider yesterday.
As Pakistan's border with Afghanistan at Torkham and Chaman remains closed, authorities have issued shoot-at-sight orders for illegal entries into the country. The 'Friendship Gate' at Chaman was closed on Friday due to security concerns. Traffic and transit trade between the two countries remains suspended.