Wary Pakistan puts military in charge of capital's security

by Reuters
Friday, 25 July 2014 13:16 GMT

ISLAMABAD, July 25 (Reuters) - Pakistan is putting the military in charge of security in the capital, Islamabad, in case Pakistani Taliban militants try to launch attacks in response to an army offensive against them, the government said on Friday.

The military launched an offensive against the militants in their strongholds in ungoverned stretches of the northwest, along the Afghan border, last month.

The Pakistani Taliban, fighting to bring down the state, have vowed to retaliate.

"The federal government has requisitioned the services of the Pakistan army in aid of civil power in Islamabad," the prime minister's office said in a statement.

The army had been put in charge of the capital for 90 days from Aug. 1 "to pre-empt any possible blowback of Operation Zarb-e-Azb", the office said, referring to the offensive.

Pakistan has seen numerous militant attacks since it joined the United States in its "war on terror" after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. cities by Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda. (Reporting by Sheree Sardar; Writing By Mehreen Zahra-Malik; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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