KARACHI, Pakistan – Police sealed an office of the Afghan Taliban in the port city of Karachi in an overnight raid and arrested 15 Afghans, officials said Sunday.
They gave no details about the charges, but a police official said Pakistan's intelligence service ordered the arrests.
During recent anti-government rallies, the Taliban office in the Soldier Bazar area of the city served as a main center for mobilizing protests.
The office was frequently visited by hardline Pakistani Islamic clerics and their supporters, who are opposed to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's support of the United States in its war against terrorists.
"We have sealed the office and deployed guards," said police Inspector Hasan Haider. "All their documents and literature have also been seized."
The detainees were blindfolded and shoved into vehicles, witnesses said. Many of them, including a 7-year-old child, were barefoot, they said.
Earlier this month, Pakistan closed the Taliban embassy and three consulates, including the one in Karachi, saying that after the collapse of the Taliban regime they were unnecessary.
The Taliban consulate in Karachi was the first one to be closed. Pakistani officials said it was used for instigating anti-government activities.
Pakistan, once the main supporter of the Taliban, deserted the orthodox Islamic militia after the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes in the United States.
The Taliban became the target of the international coalition against terrorists because they refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, the key suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks.