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Security beefed up across Pakistan for Eid

The Pakistan Police is on high alert in capital Islamabad and other major cities including Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2006 12:51 IST

Pakistan has tightened security by deploying extra police and paramilitary rangers across the country ahead of a major Islamic festival this week, officials said.

The Eid al-Fitr celebration, starting Wednesday, marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

Pakistan has been the scene of scores of attacks -- most blamed on domestic Islamic militant groups and Al-Qaeda -- since it became a key ally of the United States in its war on terror after the attacks in the on Sept 11, 2001.

Authorities say they had no knowledge of any attack threats during this year's celebrations, but that security has been beefed up to avoid any untoward incidents.

The government has deployed 9,000 police in the eastern city of Lahore, where security cameras will also be used to monitor people gathering for the festival, said city police chief Khawaja Khalid Farooq.

Police were also on alert in the capital, Islamabad, and thousands more were on guard in other major cities including Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.

"We have completed all security arrangements for the Eid," said Mushtaq Shah, a senior police official in Karachi.

He gave no details, saying only that paramilitary rangers would help police maintain law and order.

Muslims across the world traditionally celebrate Eid al-Fitr for three days, and Pakistan has announced holidays from October 23 to 26 to enable people travel to different cities to celebrate with their families.

First Published: Oct 24, 2006 11:15 IST