Pakistan security forces on Friday killed dozens of militants in the country, just hours after a blast at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine in Sindh killed more than 70 people. The biggest crackdown took place in the Sindh region, where Sindh Rangers said they had killed 18 militants in various operations, PTI reported.
Police in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said they had killed 11 gunmen during operatons in several parts of the province. Government officials said the crackdown by federal and provincial administrations would be intensified in the coming days. Earlier this week, a meeting chaired by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agreed to begin anti-militancy operations in the country.
The Pakistani government has blocked routes to its border with Afghanistan, BBC reported. It also summoned officials from the Afghan embassy, and lodged a protest saying that its neighbour’s territory was being used as a base for militants to carry out attacks against Pakistan. Government officials also handed over the names of 76 “most wanted terrorists” and insisted that Afghanistan take immediate action against them.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa were among the first to condemn the Lal Shahbaz attack, for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility. The United Nations, European Union and United States have also condemned the blast. Bajwa also appealed to the nation to stay calm.