KARACHI - At least five people, including a woman and a five-year-old child, were killed during over seven hours of encounter that took place in the downtown of the city.

The militants killed are believed to be associated with the outlawed militant organisation, Jundullah.

"The raid was conducted on a tip-off, provided by a high- profile terrorist, who had been arrested from Ittehad Town area of Baldia Town," explained a Rangers spokesperson on Tuesday. The raid was conducted on a residential building, located in street No 3 of Urdu Bazaar, at around 7:17pm on Monday evening.

On seeing the Rangers’ personnel, terrorists started hurling hand grenades at them besides using other weapons. During the exchange of fire, four personnel sustained wounds," the spokesperson elaborated.

"The Rangers had timely cordoned off the building, inside which all the four terrorists, including a woman, had locked themselves in a room," the spokesperson said, and added, “One terrorist was killed while he was trying to flee while the remaining three blew themselves up during the operation that lasted till around 2:45am on Tuesday.” "A five-year-old child was also killed due to the blast," he revealed.

The spokesman also claimed that sophisticated weapons, hand grenades and ammunition were also recovered from the possession of terrorists.

It has also been learnt that the terrorists had hired the apartment on rent about three months ago, and the security forces had also detained Naseeruddin, cousin of slain militant Naeemuddin, as the rent agreement was in Naseer's name. The terrorists killed were identified as Zahid Afridi aka Faheem aka Hameed, Muhammad Hafeezullah Quettawal, Mama and a female facilitator, Afshan. As per Rangers’ account, they were involved in various terrorist activities, including a remote control blast on Special Security Unit’s bus on March 15, 2015 that had claimed the lives of at least two policemen and had wounded fifteen others.

They also helped their detained accomplices flee from the court with hand grenades and firing.

The slain militants had also claimed the lives of around 15 to 20 members of Shia community in 2013; had carried out attack on Rangers mobile at Masjid Abu Huraira that resulted in the deaths of four Rangers soldiers; dacoity of Rs5.2 million at a bank in Nazimabad on 30 November 2011; another bank dacoity of Rs5.6 million and killing of two persons at another bank near Maripur on November 14 2008.

They had also kidnapped an ANP worker Ajab Khan on August 2014 and freed him after getting Rs10.5 million. They were also linked to the planning of an attack on Central Jail in 2015.

Go-down burnt to ashes on Hawkesbay Road

Meanwhile, tyres, worth millions of rupees, burnt into ashes here when a fire broke out at a go-down on Hawkesbay Road near Gull-Baiee intersection on Tuesday. The actual cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained while no loss of life has been reported.

According to fire brigade spokesperson, the fire broke out a tyre go-down.

Reacting to information, fire tenders of Fire Brigade Department, Karachi Port Trust and Pakistan Navy immediately reached the site and participated in the fire extinguishing operation. 

Fire Brigade spokesperson said that the intense fire gutted the entire go-down rapidly.

Extra-contingents of law enforcers also reached the site to help the fire fighters.

Mauripur police officials said that although the actual cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, the initial investigation suggested that it erupted accidentally.

Police officials said that the case would be registered when any criminal act was found during the inquiry.

The spokesperson further said that the firefighters were able to control the fire after hectic efforts of at least four hours. However, the cooling process was continuing till Tuesday evening.