Nine suspected militants were killed in a shoot-out with policemen on the outskirts of Karachi on Sunday, police officials said.
The gun battle broke out in the Mian Khan Goth area near the National Highway after police received intelligence information about the presence of TTP militants in a hideout, a senior official revealed.
Acting on a tip-off, the police raided sanctuaries in the militancy-infested area of Sohrab Goth, killing nine suspected militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al Qaeda.
In the latest encounter, the police claim to have killed militants who were plotting attacks during Muharramul Haram processions. However, over half a dozen militants, including their ring-leader managed to escape during the heavy exchange of fire between the two sides.
During the encounter that began at around 2pm, an extra contingent of police, headed by Malir SSP Rao Anwar, claim to have killed nine militants of the TTP.
A fierce gun battle raged between militants and police snipers for several hours. In retaliation, militants attacked the security officials with guns and lobbed hand grenades during the clash.
“SSP sahib was himself leading the raid,” DSP Qamar Ahmed told The Express Tribune. “The raid turned into a fierce gun battle between the police and the militants as the police came under heavy fire during the raid,” he added.
Shortly after the operation ended, bodies of the militants were shifted to the Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth after medico-legal formalities were completed at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
Police said they were trying to learn the identities of the deceased. However, the group’s ring-leader, who escaped the scene, had been identified and police was looking for him.
“Their mastermind has been identified as Irshadullah Waziri,” said DSP Ahmed. “Waziri is an expert in making vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED).” He is also TTP’s Sindh chapter chief, added Rao.
Police claimed to have seized a huge cache of explosive material, hand grenades and weapons from the hideout. A rickshaw was also recovered, which had allegedly been used to carry out a bomb blast during the holy month.
DSP Ahmed said that the militants were also involved in major bomb blasts and attacks on police and Rangers in Karachi, adding that they also reclaimed two sub machine guns (SMGs), which belonged to policemen killed by the same terrorists in the city’s Quaidabad area few months back.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2014.