KARACHI, Jan 29: Five people, two of them policemen, were killed and six others injured on Tuesday after a raid by the law enforcers on a house in Shah Latif Town turned into a fierce gun battle with militants.
Police believed the militants belonged to Jandullah, a banned outfit.
Officials confirmed the killing of two militants, but sources said three armed men were gunned down in two encounters in Landhi and Bin Qasim towns.
A spokesman for the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre said one of the injured militants brought to the hospital was found to be clinically dead.
Officials said a police contingent raided a house in Sector 17-A of Shah Latif Town, a residential area in the outskirts of the city along the National Highway.
The police came under fire after it attempted to enter the house, which had been rented out a few weeks ago.
“We have reports that there have been suspicious activities around the house and the police party raided after complete preparation,” said Brigadier (Retd) Akhtar Zamin, the Sindh home minister, after arriving at the scene.
He said the police had recovered heavy explosives and ammunition from the house and also brought women and children out.
“We have rescued four women and two children, one of whom is handicapped. A man living in the house claims that he was kidnapped a few days ago by the militants, but we are investigating.”
The police officials said some 50 policemen raided the newly-constructed 240-yard house, where the alleged militants were living, at 4pm. They had rented out the first floor while the ground floor was vacant.
“First we tried to enter through the proper entrance but found the doors locked. This forced us to enter from the backside,” said a senior official.
He said as the policemen were taking position, they came under a hail of bullets. The security men retaliated, triggering a fierce gun battle.
The exchange led to the killing of Asghar Dahri, a police inspector, on the spot and critically injured Head Constable Raja Tariq, who died on his way to hospital.
Salahuddin, a suspected militant, also lost his life.
People living in the vicinity said the shootout was so intense that it pinned down residents inside their homes.
A police official said four militants carrying ammunition and hand grenades managed to flee the house when the police offered a “ceasefire” and asked the militants to surrender.
“The four militants hijacked a car from the main road and drove it away towards Quaidabad,” said the official. The authorities promptly alerted the Landhi Town police, which intercepted the vehicle in Landhi.
“The militants engaged police in another encounter, The encounter led to the killing of a militant, Abdullah, while another died when a hand grenade exploded in his hands.”
The firing from the militants injured three policemen, including the SP of Landhi Town, Azad Khan. Azad Khan received bullets on his back, head and leg. He was admitted to a private hospital, which put him under observation in the ICU.
Meanwhile, a JPMC official confirmed receiving three bodies. They were identified as Junaid (35), Abdullah (35) and Salahuddin (27).
A police official said two suspected militants, Danish alias Qasim Toori and Tayyab, were being treated amid heavy security.
Panic ensued at the JPMC when a paramedic found a live hand grenade inside the pocket of an injured, Danish alias Qasim Toori.
An eyewitness told Dawn that the staff continued working in the emergency department and also treated the injured militant till the bomb disposal squad arrived.
G ACTION’: olice said it believed that the militants were preparing for a ‘big action’ as the law enforcers had recovered explosives and rockets.
“A whole bag of ball bearing weighing 20-25kgs has been found from inside the home,” a senior official said.