Army chief orders intelligence agencies to conduct country-wide combing operations

Army chief General Raheel Sharif inquires after a Quetta blast victim. PHOTO: ISPR

Army chief General Raheel Sharif inquires after a Quetta blast victim. PHOTO: ISPR

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has ordered intelligence agencies to carry out country-wide special combing operations to target terrorists in the wake of recent terror attack in Quetta.

The decision was taken during an emergency security meeting chaired by the army chief at Pakistan Army’s Balochistan Corps Headquarters on Monday.

Over 60 people were killed in Monday’s attack when a powerful explosion ripped through Quetta’s Civil Hospital as witnesses described tearful staff rushing towards the smoking blast site to help dozens of wounded.

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The explosion came as up to 200 people gathered at the city’s major government hospital after the fatal shooting of a senior lawyer.

“Having been defeated in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa the terrorists are shifting their focus to Balochistan,” military’s media wing, ISPR, quoted General Raheel as saying.

The army chief declared the attack in Balochistan’s provincial capital an attempt to undermine security in the province, especially targeting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

He directed the security institutions to make use of all available resources to control the overall law and order situation in the country.

Earlier during the day, the army chief arrived at the Civil Hospital Quetta and inquired after the injured victims of the blast.

The COAS also directed the authorities concerned to provide best medical care to those admitted at the hospital.

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“The COAS visited Balochistan High Court and offered condolences to chief justice Balochistan and the panel of judges,” DG ISPR Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa tweeted.

“General Raheel visited Civil Hospital and expressed solidarity with the injured. Serious patients have been shifted to Combined Military Hospital,” he added.

Two victims were shifted to Karachi for immediate treatment, Bajwa said, adding that about 20 more will be shifted on a military plane to various cities.

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