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    Islamabad OKs crackdown on LJ

    KABUL (PAN): The Pakistan government has given go-ahead to a nationwide operation against a militant group that has claimed responsibility for recent attacks in southwestern Balochistan province, media reports said on Wednesday.

    Interior Minister Rehaman Malik announced the targeted operation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi at a meeting with Inspector General of Frontier Corps (FC) Maj. Gen. Obaidullah Khan in Quetta late on Tuesday, Geo News reported.

    The minister was briefed on the security situation in the provincial capital. He was informed that four terrorists involved in terrorist activities had been killed and around 170 held in an ongoing offensive, the TV channel said.

    According to Dawn newspaper, protest sit-ins against the blast that killed 89 members of the minority Hazara community were called off as a result of talks with a parliamentary delegation. The protestors agreed to bury the dead, as the authorities pledging a crackdown on the militant outfit.

    Earlier, the protesters had refused to bury the bombing victims till their main demand of handing over Quetta to the army had been met. But parliamentarians assured them that a targeted operation would be launched against the outlawed organisations involved in attacks on Hazaras.

    The massive bombing also touched off protests and hunger strikes in Bamyan, Kabul and other provinces of Afghanistan. The strikers demanded concrete measures to stop what they called Hazara massacres on both sides of the border.

    PAN Monitor/mud