SHEIKHUPURA: At least five suspected terrorists said to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda were killed in an alleged exchange of fire with police personnel in Punjab's Sheikhupura district on Saturday.
“At around 2am, police personnel escorted a prisoner Kashif alias Kashi from Lahore to a terrorists hideout in Sheikhupura, in order to recover an arms cache,” said a spokesman from Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Punjab.
The spokesman added that as soon as the police personnel along with the escorted prisoner reached a railway crossing within the limits of Factory area police station, they came under attack by seven to eight suspected militants.
"Five terrorists including Kashif were killed in retaliatory firing by police personnel while the others managed to flee taking advantage of to darkness", said the CTD spokeman.
The deceased terrorists were identified as Kashif, Umar Farooq, Qari Naveed and Imran, all belonging to Al-Qaeda with Umar Farooq having his name on Punjab CTD's red book, a list of 110 most wanted terrorists.
Arms and ammunition including two Kalashnikov assault rifles, two pistols and a huge amount of explosive material were recovered from their custody.
It is pertinent to mention that in a similar incident in July, the CTD had killed Malik Ishaq, chief of banned sectarian outfit Lashkar-i-Jhangvi along with his two sons and 11 attackers.
The police had interrogated them and had subsequently taken them to Shahwala in Punjab's Muzaffargarh district to aid the police in recovering weapons and explosives but the police party was attacked by around 12 to 15 gunmen who succeeded in freeing Ishaq, his sons and flee.
But the SHO CTD who was informed about the attack on the police party and was travelling on the same route, encountered the fleeing militants, and the resulting exchange of fire killed 14 militants, including Malik Ishaq and his sons.