KARACHI: Eight suspected terrorists were killed in an operation in the Raes Goth area of Karachi after midnight on Saturday, according to the Rangers.
A spokesperson for the paramilitary force said the operation was jointly conducted by the Rangers and Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Sindh Police.
The Rangers and CTD surrounded a hideout of terrorists in Raes Goth and asked the terrorists holed up inside to turn themselves in, but they opened fire on the law enforcers. The Rangers called in reinforcement before storming the compound.
“Five terrorists were killed and three critically injured in the firefight,” Major Qambar Raza said. “The injured terrorists, who were taken into custody, died en route to hospital,” he added.
The Rangers spokesperson said two militants whose identity has been established belonged to a newly formed group called Ansarul Sharia which was involved in the attempt to assassinate Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Khawaja Izharul Hassan in September.
Ansarul Sharia chief Sheharyarud Din — also known as Abdullah Hashmi — was among those killed in the overnight raid, Raza said, describing him as the mastermind of the assassination bid.
The Rangers spokesperson said two Rangers soldiers and a CTD official were also injured in the gun battle who were driven to hospital. He added that a huge cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered from the hideout.
The spokesperson further said that some terrorists have fled under the cover of fire and a manhunt has been launched in the vicinity to apprehend them.
Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city with more than 14 million inhabitants and a major business and industrial hub, is rife with political, sectarian and ethnic militancy. A crackdown in the city by security forces in recent years has brought a lull in violence, but scattered attacks still take place.