Police arrest 50 suspected arsonists in Gilgit-Baltistan

Special Police arrest 50 suspected arsonists in Gilgit-Baltistan
On August 3, a group of unidentified attackers set fire to 12 schools in the region. While there were no casualties, since the schools were closed at the time, the incident has caused widespread panic in an area that is considered relatively peaceful. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 26 August 2018

Police arrest 50 suspected arsonists in Gilgit-Baltistan

Police arrest 50 suspected arsonists in Gilgit-Baltistan
  • A group of unidentified attackers set 12 schools in the region on fire earlier this month
  • Police chief claims all those arrested were involved the attacks

PESHAWAR: Police have arrested 50 people suspected of arson attacks schools in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Diamer district, Inspector General Police (IGP) Sanaullah Abbasi told Arab News on Saturday.
Abbasi said the arrests were made in a string of raids during the last two weeks, adding that the operation is still ongoing. 
On August 3, a group of unidentified attackers set fire to 12 schools in the region. While there were no casualties, since the schools were closed at the time, the incident has caused widespread panic in an area that is considered relatively peaceful.
Abassi confirmed that all of those arrested so far were involved in the arson attacks.
“Four militants, including their commander, Khalil, have been killed in the region since the August 3 attacks,” he said. “However, we also lost as many policemen in the fighting.”
Abbasi denied that the attacks and subsequent police action have created turbulence in the region, though he admitted that the situation was “tense” in Diamer District. 
“We are also carrying out raids in the adjoining Ghizer District, since some miscreants, who were previously based in Diamer, have also fled there,” he explained.
All those arrested were locals, he confirmed, adding that his department was still trying to find out if they had links with any known militant organizations.
Quoting a Special Branch intelligence report, Abbasi said: “The recent incidents have not produced a negative effect on the region’s economy. According to our information, about 6 million tourists visited Gilgit-Baltistan over the last three months.”
However, Nawaz Khan Naji, a member of the area’s legislative assembly, wants the police to do more to combat “militants in the area.”
Law enforcement agency spokesperson, Inspector Wakeel Khan, said that the police were using “an iron fist” to deal with all criminals.