Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Pakistani forces shoot dead 4 militants in Punjab

Iran Press TV

Mon May 15, 2017 12:59PM

Pakistani security forces have shot dead at least four militants during a raid on a militant hideout in a central district of Punjab province.

Chaudhry Mohammad Saleem , an official with the country's counter-terrorism department, said on Monday that the militants were killed when police returned fire during the security operation in Khanewal.

The official added that three other militants managed to escape.

Saleem said a large amount of ammunition, such as hand grenades, assault rifles and a cache of explosives were seized in the raid.

Sources said the militants belonged to Jamat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, which has carried out numerous deadly attacks across Pakistan over the past few months.

The faction has also expressed support for the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which is active mainly in Iraq and Syria.

The latest raid was part of an intelligence operation launched jointly by the Pakistani police and military in urban areas of the country.

In recent months, Pakistani security forces have targeted militants who had fled military offensives in lawless tribal regions along the Afghan border, which has long served as a safe haven for local and foreign militants.

In a separate development, a roadside bombing wounded four Pakistani paramilitary troops in Mastung district of the southwestern province of Balochistan. Abdul Nabi, a local police official said injuries were caused after a roadside bomb struck the troops' vehicle. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an outlawed extremist group, claimed responsibility for the attack.

An attack by Daesh in Mastung on Friday killed 28 people. Daesh said it had targeted a Pakistani lawmaker seen as close to the Taliban.

Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered an alliance with the United States in the so-called war on terror. Thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country.