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Pakistan launches targeted operation in Karachi

Published: 07th September 2013 08:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2013 08:35 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

Pakistan Rangers arrested at least 31 alleged criminals in a targeted operation launched early Friday morning in the violence-hit southern port city of Karachi, media reported.

The operation was announced by Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan Wednesday after a special cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to devise a strategy to deal with the deteriorating law and order situation in the country's business hub, Xinhua reported.

Khan told media that hundreds of criminals and terrorists had been identified by federal and provincial intelligence agencies and action would be taken against them and their aids.

Paramilitary Rangers and police conducted raids in various areas in the city and arrested 31 people including five target killers, one extortionist, 10 drug dealers and kidnappers.

According to human rights groups, over 2,000 people were killed in attacks in the first eight months of this year, mostly by gun fires.

A special committee comprising senior security officials and intelligence agencies will oversee, manage, administer and control the action.

There is no time frame of the operation and the action will continue until peace is established in the city, an official said.

The government has also directed the mobile companies to block around four million unregistered mobile phone numbers mainly used by criminals for communication.

The action was taken after a sudden surge in the daily incidents of target killings, kidnapping for ransom and extortion that had badly affected business activities in Karachi, a city with over 20 million population.

A Karachi court Friday also sentenced two extortionists to 10 years of imprisonment after they were found guilty. 

Official reports say that dozens of leading businessmen have shifted their businesses and families to other countries due to insecurity in the city.

Some trading groups and a political party demanded military operation in Karachi, however, the prime minister ruled out the option and directed the paramilitary troops to lead the operation.

The history of violence in Karachi dates back to late 1980s, however, the issue became severe in the last five years after Pakistani Taliban entered the city to extort money to support militancy.

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