Police officials announced that a major terrorist attack intended to disrupt New Year’s celebrations in Karachi was prevented by a security operation conducted on Sunday, December 30. Security forces reportedly raided a house in the city following a tip from an informant and exchanged gunfire with suspects. The officers arrested seven suspects and seized three hand grenades, along with a motorbike believed to be rigged to carry an explosive device and a bomb. Authorities had already increased security measures across Pakistan in anticipation of New Year’s celebrations, and a heightened security presence and increased checkpoints should be anticipated in cities throughout the country in the near-term.
In addition, on Monday, December 31, unidentified men on motorbikes opened fire on two police officers at a checkpoint in Islamabad, killing one officer and wounding the other. It is currently unclear if the incident was terrorist or criminal in nature.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qa'ida, Islamic State (IS) affiliates, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Afghan Taliban, and other Islamist militant groups continue to pose a threat throughout the country despite continued army offensives to drive them from their northwestern strongholds near the Afghan border.
Individuals in Pakistan are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and anticipate a heightened security presence in the coming days. As a reminder, due to the high threat of terrorism, kidnapping, and sectarian violence throughout the country, many Western governments advise their citizens against nonessential travel to Pakistan.
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