Two policemen were killed and seven other security personnel, including two officials of an intelligence agency, were injured in a crackdown on Taliban militants in Karachi that resulted in the arrest of over 79 suspects.
The crackdown followed media reports over the past few months about the steady inroads made into Karachi by the Taliban. The militants had recently warned transporters in the city not to ferry supplies for troops from United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Afghanistan. After being shipped to Karachi, the supplies are transported overland from the city to the Afghan border.
The police said more than 79 suspects were arrested and a sizeable number of sophisticated weapons were seized on Thursday following a pre-dawn raid on the hideout of terrorists from several banned religious groups in the Sohrab Goth area.
The chief of Karachi's Anti-Violent Crime Cell, Farooq Awan, and two intelligence officials were encircled by terrorists and held hostage at gunpoint during the operation. The militants also shot all three men in the leg after ascertaining their identity.
When policemen rushed to the spot on hearing the gunshots, the militants opened fire at them with sub-machine guns, killing two policemen and injuring four others.
Karachi police chief Wasim Ahmed told the media, "The area was a safe haven for terrorists who were planning massive terrorist activities in the city".
The operation was jointly conducted by the police and an intelligence agency that had information about the presence of a large number of suspects in Sohrab Goth, Ahmed said, adding, "The terrorists have been flushed out from the neighbourhood".