KARACHI - Funeral prayers for the Rangers official who was killed in an encounter in Korangi were offered here on Thursday.

Funeral prayers for Havildar Ilyas were offered at Sector Headquarters of the Bhittai Rangers.

Ilyas was martyred and two others, Ibrahim and Ameer, were injured in an operation against criminals launched by the security forces in the densely populated Ilyas Goth in Karachi’s Korangi area on Wednesday night.

According to the Rangers spokesperson, the Rangers troops had raided the Ilyas Goth on the basis of reports that target killer Shafiq alias Kala and his accomplices were present there. However, the culprits opened fire on the Rangers troops and one of the troops lost his life in exchange of fire while two others were wounded. Following the encounter, heavy contingents of the Rangers and police cordoned off the locality and arrested Shafiq Kala and Aleemuddin during a door-to-door search operation.

The third accomplice of the criminals, Shahbaz alias Osama, was arrested in an injured condition. He had opened fire at the Rangers troops. The injured suspect remains admitted at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medical treatment. A case was registered and further investigation was under way.

Corps Commander of Karachi Lieutenant General Shahid Baig Mirza, provincial home secretary Qazi Shahid Pervez, Director General (DG) of Sindh Rangers Major General Muhammad Saeed, Inspector General of Sindh Police Allah Dino Khowaja, Additional IG Karachi Mushtaq Mahar and a large number of Rangers and police officials and personnel were presented at the occasion. Body of the Rangers soldier was later sent to his hometown Khushab for burial. After the funeral, Rangers DG Muhammad Saeed visited the Combined Military Hospital, Malir to meet Rangers personnel injured in the exchange of fire.

Various political parties including Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqqiqi, condemned the incident. Sources privy to the matter revealed that Shafiq used to work for MQM Haqqiqi for many years, but joined Pak Sarzameen Party a couple of months ago and recently distanced himself from PSP.

It is worth mentioning here that it was the first encounter that took place between politically-motivated target killers and law enforcement agencies during the Karachi operation, which started on September 5, 2013.