KARACHI - Malir police claimed to have gunned down seven militants, including a Karachi-based commander, in another alleged encounter on Friday while the TTP included encounter specialist SSP Rao Anwar in the top priority list of enemies.

District Malir police chief, SSP Rao Anwar, who is known as an encounter specialist, raided a hideout of the militants in Swat Colony within the limits of Quaidabad police station. The police said the militants offered a stiff resistance.

An additional police force had to be called owing to hard resistance from the militants while 500 police commandoes and personnel participated in the operation.

Following the encounter, five militants were killed and their two injured accomplices arrested while several terrorists managed to escape during the exchange of fire. The injured were shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) with bullet injuries in critical condition where they died. The militants who succumbed to injuries were identified as Kamal and Shah Faisal.

SSP Rao Anwar confirmed that five militants, including a Karachi-based commander, were killed and two terrorists with bullet injuries arrested, who were shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) in critical condition. The bodies of the militants were shifted to morgue for postmortem.

DSP Rao Iqbal said the militants belonged to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Quaidabad SHO Amanullah Marwat said all the seven militants belonged to Shaheryar Mehsud group of Taliban. “They were involved in various incidents of terrorism and other crimes, particularly, a bomb blast at the Rangers Headquarters in North Nazimabad.

SHO Marwat claimed that one of the killed militants had been identified as Misbah who was the Karachi-based commander of his group.

It is pertinent to mention here that the district Malir police, headed by SSP Rao Anwar, has killed at least 50 militants in various alleged encounters in the last couple of months.

The militants killed in these encounters related to different groups of TTP and al-Qaeda while the encounters took place in various parts of the district, including Sohrab Goth, Quaidabad, Bin Qasim and Gulshan-e-Maymar.

Police officials believe that SSP Rao Anwar has been posted to avenge the killings of SP Chudhary Aslam Khan and Inspector Shafiq Tanoli in separate suicide bomb blasts.

TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan has categorically named SSP Rao Anwar as their next target, including his name in the list of top priority enemies. He has alleged that all the TTP operatives killed by the SSP had been arrested before the encounters.

It’s worth mentioning here that the tit-for-tat formula of Karachi police has so far remained fruitless as the militants have intensified their activities against the police, killing around 200 security personnel in the metropolis.

AFP adds: Police said Friday they had killed five Taliban militants in a gunfight in the southern port city of Karachi.

The shootout came as police raided a suspected hideout of TTP in the poor neighbourhood of Gulshan-e-Buner, senior police official Rao Anwar told AFP. “The police asked the militants to surrender, but they opened fire, after which they took the armed action,” he added.

“Five terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire while two terrorists who had been arrested with bullet injuries died in then hospital,” Anwar said, adding that a large stash of weapons was recovered from the scene.

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.