LAHORE: Six Taliban militants on Wednesday were shot and killed during a counter-terror operation in Okara district, some 200-kilometer away from the provincial capital.

Several elite police commandoes and counter-terrorism department personnel took part in the security operation launched in the village 28/2-R before dawn yesterday. Police sources claimed the militants were members of a banned outfit.

District police officer Faisal Rana told The Nation that two policemen were also injured during the gun battle. The police also seized Kalashnikovs, RPGs, explosive material, and bullets from their possession.

An official who was part of the operation said they also recovered maps of district public school and district police headquarters from the site. The bullet-riddled bodies were moved to the district headquarters hospital. Investigations were underway to unearth the facilitators and supporters of the militants who were hiding in the remote village for the last couple of months.

Investigators were yet to ascertain the identity of the militants. A senior official said the suspected militants look like Afghans. However, according to a few identity cards seized from the site, the militants were residents of Shangla district of the KPK province.

Hundreds of police commandoes and paramilitary troops surrounded the village after they got secret information that some terrorists were hiding inside a house. Police sources believe the militants were plotting gun and bomb attacks to target security forces and important buildings in Okara district.

Police official Faisal said the militants resorted to heavy gunfire when the security personnel encircled the house. The police also retaliated with full force. “When the fire was stopped, six militants were found shot dead,” the officer said.

In Lahore, three suspected militants were arrested during a security sweep launched near Bund Road late Tuesday night. According to an official of the CTD, the raid was conducted on a tip off. The suspects were shifted to unknown location for interrogation. The police also seized huge cache of weapons and explosive material from their possession.

As part of the national action plan, the police and paramilitary forces have stepped up clampdown on the militants and their facilitators across the province. Dozens of militants including many Taliban commanders have been killed in staged shootouts since January.

In April, five militant commanders including two IS operatives were executed in a police operation in Lahore, just one day after a terror group claimed credit for a horrific blast in the heart of the metropolis. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, an offshoot of the Taliban, which once declared loyalty to the “Islamic State,” group had claimed the responsibility for the suicide attack in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park. The blast killed 75 people including 29 children, prompting massive crackdown on the militants.