LAHORE - In a high-octane three-hour drama on Thursday, police rescued a five-year-old boy from the clutches of his kidnappers. Two abductors were shot dead in the operation at Kahna, police said.

Five-year-old Nauman Safdar was abducted by two men for Rs1 million.  Resident of Green Town, Nauman, was playing in street along with other children when he was kidnapped six days ago.

The abductors, who were traveling in a rickshaw, took the boy to a rented house in the suburb of Lahore.  Later, they contacted the father by cellular phone and demanded the ransom.

“We immediately put the kidnappers’ phone on surveillance,” Muhammad Omar Virk, SP CIA (Crimes Investigation Agency) said.

A police team headed by DSP CIA (Model Town) Salim Mukhtar launched the operation near Peer Ayyaz Shrine at Cheedo Road in the Kahna police limits. The abductors had asked Muhammad Safdar, an auto-rickshaw driver, to come to the shrine with Rs1 million and they would release his son after receiving the amount.

It was unconfirmed who paid one million rupees but police sources revealed that the CIA police had arranged the money. The victim was rescued after a brief encounter.

Preliminary probe revealed that the accused had abducted Nauman as they needed money to start a business. However, a police investigator said that the kidnappers had lost hundreds of thousands of rupees in gambling. The victim's hand and legs were tied and his face and mouth was covered with a muffler when the police raided the hideout. The boy was dumped in the backyard of the rented house.

According to SP (CIA), the gunfire erupted when the kidnappers noticed the movement of plainclothesmen in the surrounding.

 “When the fire was stopped, both the abductors were found shot dead,” a police official said. The alleged criminals were later identified as Imran, 25, and Asif, 28. Both the kidnappers are said to be the residents of Okara district.

A spokesman for Lahore police declined to comment when asked who paid the money to trap the criminals. “We can’t explain classified operational details,” Nayab Haider replied. The police have done a wonderful job, he added.