KARACHI: The Rangers paramilitary force on late Tuesday gunned down at least 10 militants in two encounters in suburban areas of the sprawling southern city of Karachi, an official said.
The Rangers were acting on an intelligence tip that militants belonging to an unnamed, banned outfit were present in Kathor, a district in the northern outskirts of the port city.
Militants opened fire on the Rangers contingents while they were cordoning off their hideout, according to the Rangers’ spokesman.
“When the Rangers were cordoning the area, the militants started firing,” the spokesman for the paramilitary force said in a press statement.
“Two of the militants were killed in the retaliatory firing”, the spokesman said, adding that their accomplices initially escaped from the scene under the cover of darkness.
In a pursuit that followed, the rangers killed four more militants, who wounded two soldiers during exchange of gunfire.
In yet another encounter, this time in the Manghopir area of the city, the Rangers shot dead four militants and later recovered automatic weapons and a suicide vest.
“One soldier got injured in the second encounter,” the spokesman said.
He did not elaborate as to which group the militants belonged, but the two areas are known as a hotbed for homegrown Taliban militants and affiliated groups.
The Pakistan Army began a major campaign – Operation Zarb-e-Azb – against Taliban and other militant strongholds in the North Waziristan tribal area in June last year.
The offensive against the militants intensified after December last year when the Taliban militants attacked a school in Peshawar killing over 150 people – mostly children.
Police and paramilitary forces have undertaken their own operation against militants and criminals in Karachi since September 2013.