Capital struck again, this time by ‘guava bombs’

* Vegetable market attack exposes police shortcomings, lack of coordination between security and intelligence agencies

ISLAMABAD: The latest terror act in the fruit market not only exposed the security apparatus of the capital, but also the coordination between the police and the intelligence agencies.The bomb blast exposed the poor performance of the police, and also compelled the senior officials to admit that the department is facing a serious shortage of cops due to which they cannot check each and every person as well as the vehicles travelling on the roads. Immediately after the Sabzi Mandi incident, top Islamabad police officials were quick to admit their vulnerability and ill-preparedness to deter such attacks. The acting IG police said that the police department lacks cops to search every vehicle on roads.AIG Sultan Azum Taimuri, while talking to the media personnel, said that the police did not receive prior warning about the attack, however, the intelligence agencies rejected the statement of the AIG and said that they had already informed the police and the government officials that terrorist attacks my occur in Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta. According the sources, the intelligence agencies had issued a terror alert to the law enforcement agencies stating that the government installations and other public places were under threat.“A security alert in Islamabad should be a concern for the police, and it’s the duty of the police to respond to the alert,” said a senior police official. “In the aftermath of this incident, those who know they are guilty should just resign voluntarily, or the Interior Ministry should sack them,” the official, who wished to remain unnamed, lamented. Sabzi Mandi’s incident was the second of its nature since March and the third since 2008 in the capital city that has raised eyebrows and prompted many to question the security arrangements.“This is not the first and will not be the last one. We would suffer more and more until the security measures put in place are improved,” a citizen, Shakil Hussain, said. A vendor selling fruits, named Wali Khattak, said that the victims of the terrorist attacks are ordinary people, saying many of those killed and injured on Wednesday attacks were common citizens and the only bread earners of their poor families. “There will be no terrorist attacks if the security organisations discharge their responsibility professionally, check all the entry and exit points, search all the cars, including those of VIPs, and put in place fullproof security arrangements,” a man remarked.Following the blasts, the police and officers from the Bomb Disposal Squad scanned the area for more bombs, and search operations were conducted in Rawalpindi. The police reportedly arrested 35 suspects from different parts of the twin cities. The blast left a five-foot diameter crater at the site of the explosion while fear and panic gripped the citizens of Islamabad.

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