66 arrested in 10-day Peshawar crackdown
PESHAWAR: Peshawar police have arrested 66 people, including 18 suspected militants, during the past 10 days of a crackdown in the suburban areas of the city, police said on Thursday. Cantonment Circle Superintendent of Police Imran Shahid told reporters at Police Lines that the crackdown had been launched in light of last month’s kidnapping of 16 Christians and to combat the increasing threat of militancy in the city.
He said that during the operation, police, Frontier Constabulary (FC) and Elite Force personnel had raided criminals’ hideouts within the limits of the Pishtakhara, Sarband Regi, Nasir Bagh and Tehkal police stations. Urban areas of the city, including Hayatabad, University Town, Defence and Gulberg were also swept for militants and anti-social elements, he added.
Shahid said that the Cantt Police, between June 24 and July 3, had arrested 66 people, including 18 suspected militants and 20 proclaimed offenders from various parts of the city. He said that police had also seized 31 submachine guns, 29 shotguns, 103 pistols, and 75,791 rounds of ammunition from their possession.
Pishtakhara Police also foiled a bid to smuggle weapons from the Bara area late on Wednesday, and arrested a person. The cache was placed in a hidden compartment of a truck and consisted of 23 Kalashnikovs, one Kalakov, 26 shotguns, 80 pistols, 75,016 rounds of ammunition and other explosives.
No militancy Shahid said that the crackdown was being conducted to ensure that no militancy reached Peshawar due to the ongoing operation in neighbouring Bara. He said the operation was currently focused on the suburban areas of the city, adding that urban areas would be targeted during its second phase. He said the city police had also arrested a man in possession of around 200 kilogrammes of hash.
Also on Thursday, Peshawar Police Chief Dr Muhammad Suleman told reporters that the city had been placed on high alert following the launch of the operation in Khyber Agency. He said the Interior Ministry had provided the province with seven armoured personnel carriers to help police in controlling law and order in the city.