Karachi: The Pakistani government took precautionary measures by shutting down mobile phone services during Friday prayers while security forces carried crackdowns after 19 people were slain, including three clerics on Thursday.
Interior Minister Rehman Malek instructed late Thursday evening for shutting down of mobile phone services in Karachi from noon till 3pm on Friday, citing possible terror attacks during that time.
The provincial cabinet also met under Qaim Ali Shah, the chief minister, who ordered the law enforcement agencies to provide extra security forces in Karachi after a spate of killings on Thursday.
The chief minister later called on Governor Ishratul Ebad to discuss the law and order in the port city and updated him of the steps taken to ensure peace.
On Thursday, 19 people were killed including clerics in a sectarian attack aimed at creating tensions between communities. Both were the muftis and were heads of key faculties at Binori Town seminary, one of the largest in Karachi’s madarsa.
Jamiat Ulmae Islam (JUI) rallied on the road after the Friday prayer to protest against the killings of the muftis.
Killings by shooting continued in different parts of Karachi taking the death toll to 19. Six people including two women of a non-government organisation (NGO) were also kidnapped by unknown captors who released the two women but the four men were still untraceable.
The police launched a series of crackdowns late Thursday night and early Friday morning arresting 20 suspects. The Police also recovered weapons and other ammunitions.
The crackdowns were carried in Orangi Town and Baldia Town whereas the police also took many people in custody who were staying in the lodging houses and hotels.
Malek warned that Karachi might witness the bloodiest February as the banned terror groups were plotting to carry massive executions in the city. He said his warning was based on the intelligence report which, however, did not implicate the Taliban in the looming attacks or terrorism.