LAHORE: Pakistani counter-terrorism officers on Saturday killed four terrorists, including two women and a local ISIS commander, in an 'intelligence-based operation' in Punjab province.
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Punjab Police said that it was an 'intelligence-based operation' conducted against ISIS in the Sahiwal district, some 200kms from Lahore. "A CTD team tried to intercept a car and a motorcycle carrying the terrorists near the Sahiwal toll plaza, however, they started firing at them and a shootout ensued," the CTD spokesperson said. "Four people, including two women and the local ISIS commander, have been killed and one child has been injured in the cross-fire," the spokesperson said. "The terrorists and three other accomplices who managed to flee were involved in the kidnapping of an American, a senior officer of the Pakistan Army and the son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani," Inspector General Police Punjab Amjad Javed Saleemi said in a statement.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered a probe into the incident after the family of one of the victims killed in the encounter, claimed that police shot him dead along with his wife and his teenage daughter in a 'stage encounter'.
According to the CTD report submitted to Saleemi, "A CTD team did a joint intelligence-based operation in which four terrorists related to defunct organisation ISIS were killed. Weapons and explosive material have been recovered from their possession." The report further said the operation was in continuation of the operation conducted in Faisalabad on last Tuesday." The CTD was tracking remaining terrorists.
On Saturday, information was received that the remaining terrorists were travelling towards Sahiwal with arms and explosives. "They travel with families to avoid police checking," the report said. "This local terror network had also killed dozens of people in blasts and firing. It was the most dangerous network of the ISIS in Punjab," the CTD said.
Three children, aged between four and nine, of the dead couple were also travelling along with their family members. Two minor girls remained unhurt while the nine-year-old boy sustained a bullet injury who was shifted to hospital where his condition is stated to be out of danger.
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the actual picture of the incident will become clear after a thorough investigation into the incident. "Apparently it seems that the terrorists used 'human shield' to protect themselves," he said