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Three Pakistan universities shut over security threats: Police

Screenshot 2024 01 23 043507ISLAMABAD: Three universities affiliated with Pakistan’s military were shut over security threats in the capital Islamabad on Monday, police said.

Pakistan is due to vote in general elections in two weeks amid overlapping political, economic and security crises — with a spike in militant attacks targeting police and soldiers.

An Islamabad police official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the National Defence University, Bahria University and Air University in Islamabad were “shut down because of potential threats”.

The institutions are tied to Pakistan’s army, navy and air force, respectively.

“Due to security reasons… all faculty and staff, except security and necessary admin staff, will work from home,” said a text sent to Bahria University students and seen by AFP.

Pakistan goes to the polls on February 8 and thousands of auxiliary security forces are set to saturate the nation’s capital and northwestern region abutting Afghanistan.

The South Asian nation of 240 million has seen an uptick in attacks along its border regions since the Taliban surged back to power there in 2021, and has consistently claimed Kabul is giving safe haven to militants.

Last year saw casualties hit a six-year high with more than 1,500 civilians, security forces and militants killed, according to the Islamabad-based Center for Research and Security Studies.

In 2014, the Pakistan Taliban stormed an army public school in the northwestern provincial capital of Peshawar and killed more than 150 people, the majority of them children, triggering a massive army campaign to rout the militants.

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