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QUETTA: Three suspected members of a kidnappers’ gang were killed in an encounter with police in the eastern bypass area of the provincial capital on Sunday.

Speaking at a press conference here, the Quetta Deputy Inspector General of Police, Syed Imtiaz Shah, said police had recovered a 12-year-old boy, who had been kidnapped two weeks ago from the Satellite Town area, and arrested two kidnappers.

The DIG said that the kidnappers had demanded $200,000 as ransom for the release of kidnapped boy Aimal Khan, son of Naik Mohammad.

The car used in the kidnapping had also been impounded, he said.

Mr Shah said that during the interrogation, an accused, who had been taken into custody in connection with kidnapping of the boy, told police about presence of the gang in the eastern bypass area.

He said that a police party, headed by senior police officers, raided a house in the Rind Garh area of eastern bypass area. During the raid, he said, kidnappers present there opened fire on police, triggering a heavy exchange of gunfire which continued for an hour.

The encounter left three kidnappers dead.

“One of the accused who was with the police to point out the hideout of the kidnappers, was also killed in the encounter,” Mr Shah said.

“The kidnappers were using an Afghan SIM for calling to parents of the kidnapped boy,” Mr Shah said, adding that the kidnappers had links with criminals in Afghanistan.

The police officer said that further investigation was in progress.

The kidnappers killed in the encounter were identified as Ghulam Ahmed, Fazlur Rehman and Shakir

The arrested criminals were identified as Fareed Ahmed and Abdul Ali.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri lauded efforts of police for their successful operation against kidnappers’ gang and other criminals in the province.

He said that the government had zero tolerance for all criminals, including kidnappers and terrorists, and it would show no mercy for kidnappers and terrorists and deal with them sternly.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2016