KARACHI, (Dawn): In what appeared to be a surge in targeted operations against militants in the metropolis, police in an hour-long exchange of gunfire with them killed four militants on the outskirts of the city, followed by an encounter in Orangi Town where another suspected militant who was allegedly involved in the recent killings of over half a dozen of policemen was shot dead.
The law-enforcement agencies have sped up action against militants associated with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, killing over a dozen militants in recent days, in view of a possible blowback of the ongoing army operation in North Waziristan.
Malir SSP Rao Anwar said police received secret information that some TTP militants were allegedly hiding near Aliabad Goth, off the Superhighway, in Gadap City. As the police party reached there, it came under a gun attack by the militants, he said. He added that police re-enforcement was called in from Malir district. In an ensuing encounter, he said, four militants were killed and arms and ammunition were seized from their custody.
No policemen was hurt in the exchange of fire, he added.
Gadap City SHO Khan Nawaz said that the encounter took place in Shadi Goth, nera Aliabad, at around 4pm that continued over an hour. He said the deceased did not look like foreigners.
The SHO added that three suspects died on the spot while the fourth one was arrested in a wounded condition. He was being taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital when he died.
According to a hospital official, one of the deceased aged 23 years while the three others were in their mid-30s. All sustained multiple bullet wounds. Three TT pistols and one Kalashnikov assault rifle were seized from them, said the police.
Shortly afterwards, another encounter took place in Orangi Town where one suspected militant was killed while three policemen sustained bullet wounds.
One of the wounded policemen was in a critical condition, said SSP West Irfan Baloch.
He said that the police had received information that a gang of militants belonging to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (Swat) involved in the killing of policemen was allegedly hiding near Banaras Bridge.
Subsequently, the officer said, police contingents reached the spot and an exchange of fire ensued. In the encounter, three policemen were wounded while one suspect was gunned down.
The deceased was identified as Omair alias Shikari. He was allegedly involved in the killing of seven policemen, including two traffic policemen, in Pirabad and Mominabad recently, said SSP Baloch. A 9mm pistol was seized from him. The wounded policemen were shifted to a private hospital on National Stadium Road where the condition of one of them was said to be critical, the officer said.Three or four other militants managed to escape, he said.
Earlier in the first major targeted operation against suspected militants after the Karachi airport attack, seven suspected militants were killed in hours-long gunbattle in militancy-infested Manghopir during a joint operation by the Rangers and police on June 20. It was followed by the killing of two more suspected militants in Kalakot and Site areas, respectively, the same day.
Two more TTP men were killed in Federal B. Industrial Area by the paramilitary force on June 27.