An armed clash between security forces and suspected militants during a search operation early Thursday in a compound situated in Lahore’s Raiwind Road area killed seven suspected militants while one elite force man was also killed and five others had been injured, Punjab Minister for Anti-Terrorism Col. (retd) Shuja Khanzada said.
Speaking to media representatives, Khanzada said that the exact figure of militants present the area could not be established and several of them appeared to have fled. He said security forces wanted to apprehend the militants alive, adding that terrorism could not be eliminated in a single day. The clash began when security forces, acting on a tip off, conducted a search operation in Araiyan Pind near Raiwind Road. According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Investigation Nawaz Marwat, the operation started at 2am during which security forces surrounded the compound where suspected militants were present.
An intense clash erupted between security forces and militants who used heavy arms and ammunition against the forces’ personnel, Marwat said. Also during the operation, at least eight explosions were reportedly heard while recurrent bouts of firing continued between militants and security forces. Police sources have claimed that at least seven militants hiding in the compound had been killed during the operation which is still ongoing. A fresh contingent of elite force personnel has also been called in to manage the situation as the area has still not been declared clear.