LAHORE - Four militant commanders involved in attack on Sri Lankan cricket team and Moon Market bombings were shot and killed during a ‘security operation’ in Lahore, official sources said yesterday.

The shootout took place in a village in Manawan neighbourhood late Saturday night, a spokesperson for the Punjab counter-terrorism department said.

Police investigators identified the militants as Zubair alias Naik Muhammad, Abdul Wahab, Adnan Arshad and Ateequr Rahman. Their bullet-riddled bodies were moved to the morgue. Three or four accomplices of the terrorists, however, managed to escape while taking advantage of the darkness.

According to a press statement issued by the CTD, Zubair, Wahab and Adnan were involved in attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009. Seven players and an assistant coach were wounded, while six policemen were killed in the gun and bomb attack near Liberty Roundabout in Gulberg.

The same militants were involved in the suicide bombings in Lahore’s famous Moon Market in 2009. More than 70 people mostly women and children had died and over 150 others were wounded in the blasts that targeted shoppers in the busy market.

The counter-terror personnel also seized huge cache of weapons, explosives, computer CDs, and banned literature from the crime scene.

According to the officials, seven to eight terrorists attacked a CTD team in Manawan area of Lahore, where headquarters of the agency is located.

“On Aug 27 at about 11pm, a CTD team was taking accused terrorists involved in the Moon Market Iqbal Town Lahore blast for pointation of a house in the Lakho Dehr area where they had made preparations for the attack at that time," the CTD claimed. The security team was "attacked by 7 to 8 terrorists" as they reached the East Service Road of Ring Road near the Mian Town Bridge.

“The CTD team took precautions and returned fire in self-defence," the statement said. When the firing stopped four militants were found shot dead. Luckily, all counter-terror officials remained unhurt during the crossfire which continued for a considerable time.

Reportedly, an anti-terrorism court in Lahore in June had indicted six members of the banned Laskhar-e-Jhangvi in the Sri Lankan cricket team attack case. They were Obaidullah, Javed Anwar, Ibrahim Khalil, Abdul Wahab, Zubair and Adnan Arshad. All the suspects had pleaded not guilty and decided to contest the case during an in-camera hearing in Kot Lakhpat Jail.

The Gulberg police had registered a case against LeJ’s founder Malik Ishaq and others for their involvement in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team. Malik along with his two sons and 11 accomplices was killed during a similar police operation in Southern Punjab last year.