Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, claimed to have killed notorious Lyari gang war commander Noor Muhammad alias Baba Ladla in a shootout early Thursday in Karachi's Lyari neighbourhood.
Two of Baba Ladla's close associates — Sikandar alias Sikko and Mohammad Yaseen alias Mama — were also killed in the encounter.
The "most wanted" suspects were involved in numerous terrorist incidents and heinous crimes, a Rangers press release said.
Acting on a tip-off about the presence of Ladla, the Rangers started an operation in Lyari's Phool Patti Lane area. Upon seeing them, the gangsters opened fire and lobbed hand grenades at the paramilitary personnel.
After an exchange of fire that lasted about 35 minutes, Baba Ladla and his two accomplices were killed in the encounter.
One Kalashnikov, a 9mm pistol, a 9mm mauser and a hand grenade were also recovered from their possession, a police statement said.
"The killing of Baba Ladla group [members] is a lesson for all those youngsters, who inspired by leaders like Baba Ladla are backing or linked to crimes, that they cannot escape the grasp of law," the Rangers statement said.
Baba Ladla was once a close aide of proscribed Peoples Amn Committee (PAC) leader Uzair Baloch, who was arrested in January last year, but later turned his rival.
The Sindh government had placed a head money of Rs3 million on Baba Ladla in 2012.
'Baba Ladla ran torture cells'
According to Rangers, Baba Ladla was wanted by the police in more than 74 cases. The Lyari gang war ring leader was operating several torture cells in Lyari which had spread fear and terror in the area.
Some of Baba Ladla's major crimes include:
- Attack on a police party in April 2012, and the murder of head constable and a constable
- Killing of Lyari gang war leaders Arshad Pappu, Yasir Arafat and Shera Pathan and desecrating and burning their bodies with gang war leader Uzair Baloch's collaboration
- The murder of five people including a Dalmia resident and his sons
- Kidnapping three people in March 2013 and killing one of them after torture
Sikko: Ladla's close aide
Sikandar alias Sikko was a close aide of Baba Ladla and used to facilitiate him in different crimes. He was wanted by the police in more than 15 terrorism cases, the Rangers said.
He was involved in:
- Murder of SHO Fawad Khan after attacking a police party in April 2012
- Killing of a head constable in 2012
- Torture and killing of two people in 2013
- Unlawful sale and purchase and supply of weapons
Ladla's right hand: Mama
Mohammad Yaseen alias Mama was the right hand of Ladla and was involved in numerous crimes including:
Attacks on police and law enforcement agencies personnel
Kidnappings and killings of Kutchhi Rabita Committee (KRC) members during the conflict with Lyari gang war members
Drug trafficking in Lyari
Previous death reports of Ladla
Reports have emerged about the arrest and killing of Baba Ladla in encounters previously as well.
In August 2015, it was reported that the notorious gangster was killed in an exchange of fire with Iranian border security forces near the Pakistan border. However, security officials had then denied receiving any information from Iranian authorities confirming his death.
Previously in May 2014, reports said Baba Ladla was killed by Iranian border guards at a border crossing point near Iranian city of Chahbahar when he was crossing the border. Pakistani authorities had not verified this either.
In the last few years, security forces have carried out several raids and search operations in Lyari as part of the Karachi operation to put an end to the gang warfare. Since 2013, they have arrested many suspected gangsters, drug dealers and target killers; they have also seized several weapons, including SMGs, rocket launchers, hand grenades and AK-47s.