VIDEO: Pakistan Increases Security Measures for Ashura

Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:44:37

Security was tight in Pakistan as Shiite Muslims gathered to mark a 10-day event that will culminate in Ashura on Wednesday (October 12). Ashura commemorates the Martyrdom of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussein in battle 1300 years ago.

The mourning period of Muharram came at a particularly sensitive time in the country amid violence against Shiite Muslims and sectarian clashes.

To combat the threat of bombings, authorities have deployed thousands of policemen as well as CCTV cameras and metal detector gates.

Shiites Muslims, which make up nearly 15 percent of the Islamic world, mourn for a month as part of the festival.

Senior Police officers, Faisal Abdullah Chachar , said to Reuters  "We have covered the sensitive areas in the city's east, which was our target area. The message we want to give to the public is that even during Moharram, the police and Rangers are with you to safeguard your lives and properties.

Superintendent of Police in Lahore City, Mohammad Naveed, said: "We issued a comprehensive, robust security plan, and we followed proper SOPs (standard operating procedures). For all the gatherings, we ensured a three-tiered security check - all the pilgrims who come there are properly checked before they enter