NGOs suspend work at IDPs’ camp after threat
By: SUHAIL KAKAKHEL
NOWSHERA: Local and international humanitarian organisations suspended work at the Jalozai camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) on Friday after intelligence agencies issued a warning about a bomb attack at the place, security and aid agencies’ officials said.
A representative of an international NGO, who requested not to be identified, told Dawn that security agencies had informed the local administration about the attack threat.
“We have not only closed offices of all partner organisations but also stopped field activities, including running schools, women centres and other work,” he said.An official said about 23 schools where over 7,500 children were enrolled had been shut and so were 26 women centres where about 2,000 girls received training in different trades.
At present, he said, only healthcare centres were working.
Khalid Usman, chief coordinator of the Jalozai IDP camp, confirmed to Dawn that all offices of the World Food Programme, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, World Health Organisation and local NGOs working as partners had been asked to suspend their activities. Security had been beefed up at the camp, he added.
District Police Officer Waqar Khan said that aid agencies had been told to suspend operations in view of `credible and persistent intelligence warnings of a terrorist attack’.
“We were told that a vehicle-borne improvised explosives device was ready to be used at some event. A UN lady was visiting and then…food distribution was taking place and we thought that we should not take any chances,” the district police officer said.
He said a search operation was under way for the last three days.
“We have some catches,” he added.
In March, a car bomb tore through the Jalozai IDP camp, killing 16 people.