ISLAMABAD, Nov 16: A police assistant sub-inspector (ASI) was killed and four other persons, including a constable, were injured during an exchange of fire with two armed men at G-9 Markaz on Friday, police said.

ASI Mohammad Riaz and constable Rizwan Mustafa were patrolling the area when they spotted a black Toyota Corolla in a parking lot with two persons sitting inside.

On suspicion, the police officials searched the car and found a knife inside. As the ASI tried to arrest the occupants of the car, one of them shot him.

In retaliation, the constable also opened fire with his SMG. During the exchange of fire, the constable along with three passersby sustained bullet injuries.

Hearing the gunshots, traders from the market reached the spot and overpowered one of the suspicious men while the other escaped. Later, other police officials reached the spot and shifted their two colleagues along with the other injured persons to hospital where the ASI was pronounced dead.

The constable, who suffered a bullet injury to his abdomen, was admitted to the hospital. However, the injured passersby were in a stable condition.

One of the culprits caught by the traders was later handed over to the police and identified as Iftikhar Hussain, a native of Parachinar in Kuram Agency. Preliminary investigation showed that Iftikhar along with Abbas Raza, Muneer Khan and Zahir Ali had come to Islamabad on Thursday night and were staying in a hotel at G-9 Markaz.

At the time of the firing, the other persons were present in the hotel but escaped.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said he would recommend Sitara-i-Shujaat for the ASI, a father of four, along with a cash award of Rs3 million to his family under the Prime Minister Package for Martyred Personnel.

The announcement was made after funeral prayer of the ASI at the police line headquarters. The body of the ASI was later shifted to his native city of Chinniot.

Mr Malik also announced to allot a plot to the family of the victim as well as jobs to his son and a nephew in the police.

The minister said the injured constable would be awarded Pakistan Police Medal besides being promoted to the rank of ASI.

The minister said the culprits were terrorists and assisted militants in carrying out terror activities. Besides, they also provided financial assistance to militants, he added.

On other hand, the police in a handout described the culprits as auto-thieves.

It was also suspected that the culprits had looted Rs1.3 million from a money changer at F-10.

The police said they were probing the case from all angles to ascertain whether the accused were terrorists, robbers or car lifters.

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