LAHORE - Police shot dead two alleged robbers during an ‘encounter’ in the Defense Housing Authority late on Thursday night.

Police identified the suspects as Attiq-ur-Rahman and Nasir Ali, said to be in their late 20s. The bullet riddled bodies were sent to the morgue for a post-mortem examination.

Sources close to police investigators said that both suspects had been in the police custody for the last couple of days and they were being interrogated in connection with a shop robbery, which took place in a Defence market.

According to the police, the suspects had also killed a passerby in the Defence area when they were fleeing from the crime scene after the shop robbery. However, a police officer said the suspects had fled from a police van when they were being shifted to another facility in the Defense-B police precincts.

Two motorcyclists were signalled by a police team to stop at a checkpoint late on Thursday night, but they opened fire on the policemen. The policemen retaliated and killed both the alleged criminals. The policemen remained unhurt during the crossfire, according to the police. Further investigation is under way.

Extrajudicial killings are quite common in the crime-infested Punjab province. According to police data, at least 134 alleged criminals were killed in 129 so-called police encounters in first six months of this year in the province. Eleven policemen also lost their lives fighting the criminals.