LAHORE, May 8: Three alleged target-killers of Karachi and two Lahore police constables were killed in an encounter here on Wednesday evening.
Firing by the criminals left a constable injured. An accomplice of the criminals fled, witnesses and police said.
A quick movement of several police vehicles, including Punjab Elite Police Force, from Wapda Town to Valencia Town, triggered panic in the area.
“I was riding a bike on Main Boulevard of Wapda Town when some police vehicles passed by me at 6:45pm,” said Khadim Hussain. He said he thought that police were rushing to the scene of a terror attack.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Rana Abdul Jabbar told Dawn that a Karachi CID police team assisted by Sattokatla police raided a house in Valencia Homes (Valencia Town) at around 6pm after they received information about some criminals hiding there.
He said as some men of the Sattokatla police entered the house, the criminals opened fire at them and injured three of them. The SSP said the police retaliated and killed one of the four criminals. The remaining three criminals fled. He said the police radioed messages about the criminals’ escape and alerted the police deployed in the surrounding areas.
He said the three criminals, who had snatched a motorcycle from a man in Valencia Town, again had an encounter with the police in Mohafiz Town and two of them were killed. The fourth criminal fled.
Jabbar said the Karachi CID team identified the three criminals as Alamgir, Asif Baloch alias Niazi and Abbas who were wanted to Karachi police in at least 50 cases of target killings, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, dacoity and robbery.
He said police constable Asadullah, 45, died of a bullet wound on the chest. Muhammad Irshad, 25, succumbed to his two bullet wounds at Jinnah Hospital, while Azam was under treatment with no life threatening injury.
Jabbar said police seized weapons, seven passports and material used in kidnapping from the house. He said police were interrogating the house owner.
He said that preliminary police investigation showed that the criminals had shifted to Lahore three months ago and got a house on rent in Valencia Town five days ago. They had been committing crimes in Lahore for the last two years and were wanted to Lahore police in more than a dozen cases.
Meanwhile, a police investigator told this reporter that Alamgir and his accomplices were associated with Baba Ladla who was notorious for Lyari gang wars. Asif is considered Baba Ladla’s right hand. He said the criminals attempted to kidnap a teenage girl for ransom outside a superstore in Karachi a couple of months ago.
Police shifted bodies of the encounter victims to Jinnah Hospital morgue for autopsies.