KARACHI - Karachi police claimed to have killed at least nine militants affiliated with defunct Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in an encounter in Shah Latif area here on Sunday. The exchange of fire broke out between the police and militants at Mian Khan Goth, Shah Latif area located near National Highway. Being tipped off by the intelligence agencies, the police reached close to a hideout of the militants who offered stiff resistance to avoid arrest.

SP Malir Rao Anwar said that police cordoned off the area and asked the militants to surrender. But the terrorists opened fire on the police team, leaving them with no other option but to retaliate.

It was the second largest encounter in a month that claimed nine lives of the operatives of a banned militant outfit in an alleged encounter. Police had killed seven Taliban insurgents in the Sohrab Goth area on the city's outskirts early this month. Karachi, a city of 18 million people which contributes 42 percent of Pakistan's GDP, has been plagued by sectarian, ethnic and political violence for years.

Police claimed that the militants were plotting terrorist activities during Muharramul Haram. They said that at least six militants including TTP Sindh chapter chief Irshadullah Waziri managed to escape during the clash. Heavy contingents of police headed by SP Malir Rao Anwar participated in the operation lasted around three hours in which at least nine militants affiliated with THE TTP and Al-Qaeda were gunned down.

Sohrab Goth DSP Qamar Ahmed said that the raid turned into a fierce gun battle between the police and the militants because of heavy resistance.

He said that the militants also lobbed hand-grenades on the police party; however the policemen remained unhurt in the shootout. The bodies of the militants were later shifted to morgue for identification after medico-legal formalities completed at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

Steel Town DSP Rao Iqbal said that Waziri was the mastermind of the militant group, having expertise of making vehicle borne improvised explosive device. The police also claimed to have recovered a huge cache of explosives, hand-grenades, weapons and a rickshaw which was being prepared to execute a massive explosion during Muharram.

SHO Amanullah Marwat said that the militants were also involved in major bomb blasts and attacks on police and Rangers in Karachi, adding that they have also recovered two sub machineguns (SMGs) of the policemen who were killed by these militants in Quaidabad area a few months back.

It is worth mentioning here that SP Rao Anwar, who is known as an encounter specialist, has so far killed around 55 militants during the ongoing operation in Karachi.

Separately, a suspect was killed during an alleged encounter with the police at Sea view within the limits of Darakshan police station. Police officials said that the suspect along with his companion was busy looting the passersby when the encounter took place, adding that weapons and snatched motorcycle, cell-phones and cash were also recovered. The body, however, moved to morgue in Sohrab Goth for identification.

Meanwhile, charged mob caught a bandit red-handed and beaten him death in the remits of Shah Latif police station.

The police said the deceased bandit along with his companion was busy looting people in the area when some residents of the area caught him while his comrade managed to flee.

The residents subjected him to severe torture. The police rushed to the spot and shifted the injured robber to JPMC where he succumbed to injuries during treatment.

Police officials said that unidentified person also shot him twice during the torture. The body was rushed to morgue after autopsy where the deceased was identified as Naeem, 25.

Separately, a young woman, who was set on fire by her husband in Landhi locality, is under treatment in Civil Hospital, Karachi where doctors declared her to be in critical situation. The incident took place at Burmi Colony within the limits of Landhi police station. The woman is identified as Memona, 38. Her family accused her husband, namely Dal Ahmed for torching the woman. Police quoted the woman family said that her husband Ahmed, who works at Sher Shah Scrap market, was used to beat her and demand her jewellery for sale.

SHO Huzoor Bukhsh Solangi said that an FIR No 253/14 under Section 324 has been registered against the accused while further investigation was underway.