KARACHI - A passerby was killed in an exchange of fire between police and armed robbers in Karachi in the wee hours of Saturday, family and officials confirmed.

The alleged shootout took place near Drigh Road on busy Sharah-e-Faisal at 6am. The deceased, identified as Maqsood, was the only brother of five sisters. He was riding an auto rickshaw with a friend when he was hit by two bullets. Maqsood was shot in the chest and leg, according to medics at Jinnah Hospital.

Police said that Maqsood was killed after being caught in the crossfire between security personnel and armed robbers. Two suspected robbers were also injured in the shooting.

Initially the police claimed that Maqsood was an accomplice of the firing robbers, but they later retracted their claim and blamed robbers for his death.

Maqsood’s sisters reached Jinnah Hospital, chanted slogans against the police and called for justice. “The criminal is alive while my brother has been shot to death,” Maqsood’s sister told the media. “Innocent people are being killed by the police in fake encounters,” she alleged.

Police had said earlier that a robber was killed and three were injured in a police encounter in Karachi’s Shahrah-e-Faisal area on Saturday.  According to details, police said, four car riders were looting people in the streets when police arrived at the scene and arrested them after an exchange of fire. Suspects Ali, Babar and Abdul Rauf got severely wounded while Maqsood succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

The officers said that weapons were also recovered from the suspects while an investigation against them has been launched.