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Karachi

February 20, 2017

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Section 144 imposed in city’s red zones for 15 days

Section 144 imposed in city’s red zones for 15 days

MA Jinnah Road and other central thoroughfares also included in the ban

The Sindh Home Department has issued a notification for imposing Section 144, which bans political gatherings and display of weapons, for 15 days in the parts of Karachi that have been declared as red zones.

The announcement issued on Sunday stated that the home department, under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, had imposed a ban on protest demonstrations, rallies and assembly of more than five persons for a period of 15 days, with effect from midnight on February 20, in order to maintain law and order and to prevent terrorist elements from acting in a manner prejudicial to public safety in the places of Karachi Division that were declared as red zones.

Besides the red zones, the parts of the city where the ban has been imposed include MA Jinnah Road and all the other central thoroughfares of the city.

Government officials and police and paramilitary forces have been mounting an operation against criminals and militants across the city after the recent attack on the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan.

Around 90 people were killed on Thursday evening when a suicide bomber attacked the crowded shrine. The powerful blast took place inside the premises of the shrine as a Dhamaal was taking place, with a large number of women and children said to be among the casualties.

Officials confirmed the suicide bombing took place inside the complex of the shrine, with eyewitnesses saying the explosion caused people to panic and triggered a stampede. A large number of people from different parts of the province had gathered at the shrine when the blast took place.

Devotees throng the shrine of the revered Sufi saint every Thursday to participate in a Dhamaal and prayers. According to reports, the explosion occurred after devotees had gathered inside the premises of the shrine. A high number of casualties were feared because of the crowd.

Following the suicide attack, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa declared that there would be no more restraint for anyone and each drop of the nation’s blood would be avenged.

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