Security forces closed several roads in Karachi's central Clifton neighborhood on Thursday, July 23, as they responded to an unspecified security threat. Police are reported to have established roadblocks on major routes in the area, including Kheyabani-e-Saadi and those around the Block-4 diplomatic quarter, and increased vehicle checks on other roads leading into the district. Additional security forces were also reported to have been deployed around several foreign consulates in the neighborhood.
The nature of the security threat is not currently clear, with officials stating that it was a routine alert following a non-specific terrorism threat. However, the alert came hours after a police officer was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the Jutland Lines area of the city on Thursday morning, the third Karachi police officer to be assassinated in less than a month.
An increased security forces presence and associated disruptions are likely in the Clifton area in the near term.
Although Karachi has been somewhat less affected by terrorism than some of Pakistan's other urban centers further west, Islamist extremists nevertheless pose a significant threat to foreign and domestic government interests in the city as well as to sites associated with religious minorities, including Shia Muslims. Security threats are relatively common in the city and often result in increased security deployments in sensitive areas.
Thursday's security threat came less than a month after four terrorists attempted to storm the Pakistan Stock Exchange in the city's high-security Lalazar neighborhood, killing four security personnel.
Those in Karachi are advised to monitor developments, anticipate localized disruption and security operations, and heed any instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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