Pakistani law enforcement agencies on Wednesday launched a massive crackdown in neighbourhoods of this eastern city with sizeable Afghan and Pathan populations and took over 400 people into custody, officials said.

“Raids are being carried out on the basis of specific and general information about terror suspects and so far we have taken a large number of Afghans and Pathan suspects into custody,” Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmed told PTI.

Though he did not give the exact number of people detained, other officials said over 400 suspects had been rounded up. Most of the arrested people did not have computerised national identity cards, they said.

Ahmed said a “major operation” was underway in areas like Shafiqabad, Ravi Road, Shahdara, China Scheme, Manzoor Park and Amanat Park to track down suspects.

Police in other Pakistani cities, including Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, have initiated similar crackdowns over the past few days where hundreds of suspects have been rounded up. The crackdown was launched after a wave of suicide attacks blamed on the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

After an attack on the police training school at Manawan on the outskirts of Lahore in March this year, police had launched a similar crackdown on Afghan shanties and arrested over 500 people. The police had to free almost all of them later because no charges were brought against them.

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