LAHORE - Police Sunday shot dead two most-wanted criminals during an armed encounter which took place in Factory Area police precincts.

Lahore SP CIA Tariq Elahi Mastoi said the bandits were involved in the killings of three police officers. He said that the criminals had become a symbol of terror in the provincial metropolis since they killed three policemen including on station house officer.

The alleged robbers were identified by police as Amir Shahzad alias Amri and Ramazan alias Jani. The bullet-riddled bodies were moved to the morgue following the shooting which took place in Muhammad Ali Colony in the limits of Factor Area police.

A police spokesman said the gunfire between the police and criminals continued for at least 15 minutes. He said that the criminals opened indiscriminate fire as police raided a house in the area on a tip-off. No policeman was hurt during the encounter which began on Sunday afternoon.

According to CIA SP Tariq Mastoi, the alleged criminals had killed SHO Shadbagh police station Tajammal Hussain Butt on offering resistance during a road robbery attempt in Defense last year. The same bandits had also shot dead SI Khalid Virk and Constable Rehmat during a police operation in Kahna area a couple of months ago.

The officer constituted a special police team headed by In-charge CIA Model Town (Kahna Circle) as they received credible information from secret sources that the duo wanted to police in the killings of police officers were hiding at a house in the residential locality.

Police said that the cops were hunting for the criminals since they fled after killing Shadbagh station house officer Tajammal Hussain Butt. Lahore capital city police officer Muhammad Amin Wains has announced cash prizes and commendatory certificates for the police team.

In a press statement, the CCPO said that the hardened criminals would be brought to justice in order to ensure peace and to maintain law and order in the city.

 He also directed the police to step up raids across the city to hunt down the criminals involved in murders, dacoity-cum-murders, and armed robberies.