Independence Day attack thwarted in Pakistan

Islamabad, Aug 13 (IANS) A suicide bombing plot targeting Independence Day celebrations in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi has been thwarted, a media report said on Thursday.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the attack was foiled during an intelligence-based operation, following the arrests of several terrorists including a Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander, Dawn online reported.

“Security forces have busted a foreign-sponsored gang and foiled a terrorists bid to sabotage August 14 celebrations in Karachi,” ISPR said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said the operation to foil the plot was carried out in Karachi and Hyderabad on August 9.

However, it only said that the terrorists had been “planning for some time” to attack Independence Day celebrations in the city, but did not identify the exact target.

A threat alert issued by the National Crisis Manage­ment Cell on July 28 had claimed that Taliban terrorists had extorted 3 million Pakistani rupees (about $29,000) from a Karachi-based businessman for the attacks.

A high-roof van and a motorbike, which were to be used in the attack, were claimed to have been bought from the extortion money, while the remaining amount was reportedly used for buying suicide bombers from Afghanistan and for planning other attacks.

The emir of the group travelled to Afghanistan to arrange the bombers. He is seemingly yet to return from Afghanistan with the bombers.

The ISPR statement said that the van and motorcycle, which had been recovered from the terrorists, had been rigged with explosives.

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