July 25, 2014 / 1:28 PM / 4 years ago

Wary Pakistan puts military in charge of capital's security

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan is putting the military in charge of security in the capital, Islamabad, in case Pakistani Taliban militants try to launch attacks in response to an army offensive against them, the government said on Friday.

Pakistani soldiers stand guard as people, who fled the military offensive against militants in North Waziristan, receive food supply from the army in Bannu, in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province July 2, 2014. REUTERS/Haji Mujtaba

The military launched an offensive against the militants in their strongholds in ungoverned stretches of the northwest, along the Afghan border, last month.

The Pakistani Taliban, fighting to bring down the state, have vowed to retaliate.

“The federal government has requisitioned the services of the Pakistan army in aid of civil power in Islamabad,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

The army had been put in charge of the capital for 90 days from Aug. 1 “to pre-empt any possible blowback of Operation Zarb-e-Azb”, the office said, referring to the offensive.

Pakistan has seen numerous militant attacks since it joined the United States in its “war on terror” after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. cities by Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda.

Reporting by Sheree Sardar; Writing By Mehreen Zahra-Malik; Editing by Robert Birsel

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