LAHORE/QUETTA/PESHAWAR - Security forces across the country continued crackdown against terrorists on Monday apprehending more than 810 suspects including a large number of Afghan nationals.

The crackdown follows a wave of terrorism last week which claimed over 100 lives.

Police arrested 35 Afghan nationals in Quetta and registered case against them in various police stations of the city.

The Afghan nationals were arrested in accordance with the Foreign Act for illegally staying in Pakistan.

In Kotli, Azad Kashmir, 60 Afghans were arrested for their illegal stay and cases have been registered against them.

Dozens of illegal Afghan immigrants were rounded up during a massive police operation in Lahore yesterday.

The “suspects” detained during nonstop raids were sent to different police facilities for further interrogation. Many Pushtun-looking people were also arrested by police as they failed to produce identity papers during door-to-door searches.

Hundreds of police including lady police took part in the security sweep. Officers were seen using biometric machines and the newly-introduced Pak-SVAS to check the particulars of suspected individuals. Some police officers said the new equipment was helping them to a great extent in establishing or tracing the record of most wanted criminals.

A police officer last night told The Nation that at least 173 suspects were detained during a search operation in the Iqbal Town police division alone. SP Iqbal Town, Adil Memon said that at least 2550 persons were checked during the hours-long exercise. The police released 2372 people while 173 were sent to police stations for further interrogation.

The police also filed cases under Foreign Act against the illegal immigrants. Similarly, the police registered cases against unregistered tenants. “The search operations are being conducted on regular basis in the wake of recent terror strikes,” Memon said.

The crackdown on illegal Afghan immigrants was launched after arrest of the handler involved in the suicide attack that killed 15 people including seven police officers last week on The Mall. The law enforcement agencies stepped security sweep as the preliminary investigations revealed that the bomber had been dispatched from the war-torn Afghanistan, where terror group ISIS controls large swaths.  

Security and law enforcement agencies are on high alert across the province and additional police are deployed to protect government installations, shopping malls, worship places, and public parks.

In Mianwali, 39 suspects were arrested in search operation by police and other agencies on Monday night while in Hafizabad, police and intelligence agencies conducted a combing operation arresting 16 suspects. Weapons and drugs were recovered from them.

In Mandi Bahauddin and Dera Ghazi Khan, security forces arrested 146 Afghan nationals, and recovered weapons and drugs from them.

Raids in Mandi Bahaudin were conducted jointly by Counter-Terrorism Department and police in Afghan neighbourhoods.

In Rawalpindi, during raids in hotels and guesthouses security forces arrested 87 people for having incomplete documents. Moreover, security agencies apprehended 86 Afghan people illegally staying in Pakistan. Additional police contingents have been posted at all entry and exit points of the city.

About 244 suspects were arrested during search operations in different areas of Swabi on Monday morning.

Police source said the arrests also include 15 facilitators of terrorists.

Arms and ammunition were also recovered from them.

Nine suspected Afghans were arrested in Islamabad on Monday morning.

Police, Rangers and other security forces personnel took part in the operations.

Biometric device was also used for the identification.

At least 12 people were taken into custody who failed to provide any identity document.

Police sources said that the search operation was launched to maintain law and order in the area.

Our staff reporter/Agencies