KARACHI - Armed bandits struck a hospital and robbed the staff and patients of cash and valuables here on Thursday.

Law enforcement agencies have been making tall claims in recent days about elimination of street crime from the port city.

As many as five gunmen barged in a private hospital located at Block 9, Federal B Area, Azizabad in the limits of Jauharabad Police Station. Police said that at least four of bandits entered the hospital and one stayed outside.

The robbers held a security guard hostage at gunpoint and took his weapon before moving to the cash counter and robbing Rs250,000.

The gang later took patients and entire staff of the hospital hostage, looted cash and cell phones and fled the scene.

According to the hospital staff, robbers took away cash, mobile phones and a DVR system while leaving the hospital. The robbers managed to escape before police arrived at the scene.

Police said that bandits were wearing shalwar kameez and pent shirts. They belonged to different ethnicities and they were talking to each other in different languages.

Robbers took at least 15 minutes to complete their swift operation, says Jauharabad SHO Fahad Hussain. He added that modus operandi suggests that they were professional because they also took away a DVR system.

The officer said that robbers however left a security guard’s weapon. They threw the weapon in a mosque located on the premises of the hospital.

The officer said that the police thoroughly checked the nearby area, but no CCTV cameras were found in the hospital surroundings.

The officer further said that police were trying to trace the robbers with the help of cell phones snatched from the hospital staff. He said that police were also trying to make sketches of the robbers. Police have registered FIR No. 213/18 against unidentified persons on the complaint of hospital supervisor and started investigation.

It is worth mentioning here that law enforcement agencies have stepped up action against street criminals, but incidents of street crime have increased in the city. In Karachi, robbery incidents at houses, restaurants, shops, banks and fuel pumps have become a routine matter but now, and criminals have now started targeting hospitals.

Newly appointed Inspector General of Sindh Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam and Karachi police chief, Additional IG Dr Amir Shaikh, took notice of rising incidents of street crime in the city and laid stress on police officials to take measures to eliminate street crime from the city. However, there is not let up in incidents of street crime in the metropolis where dozens of people are being deprived of valuables on a daily basis.