KARACHI - The police have arrested as many as 35 alleged militants during a raid conducted to arrest the kidnappers of an Iranian diplomat, here in the early hours on Thursday. Two policemen were killed while eleven others sustained serious injuries in the encounter that took place between law-enforcers and the terrorists. The culprits had kidnapped Hashmatullah, an Iranian Commercial Attache in Peshawar, for ransom. According to well-place sources, about 35 suspected terrorists, including four militants belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other banned religious outfits such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have been arrested. The incident occurred near Yaadgar Hotel situated at Mohmand Centre, in Sohrab Goth around 4 am on Thursday. The sources told that officials of the ISI and Anti-Violence Crime Unit (AVCU) arrived at the scene to recover the kidnapped Iranian envoy. AVCU chief SSP Farooq Awan and Assistant Director ISI Major Asad were leading the raiding party. SSP Awan and Major Asad along with other ISI officials including Sub-Inspector (SI) Tariq, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Afzal and ASI Mazhar were in a private car. They ordered the police party accompanying them to stay near Al-Saba Masjid adjoining the said hotel so they could investigate without alarming the kidnappers about the raid. However, the terrorists managed to spot the police officers at the hotel and opened indiscriminate firing on their car. As a result, all officers sitting in the car except Major Asad sustained bullet wounds. When the policemen waiting behind arrived at the scene after hearing gunshots, the militants opened fire on them as well. Resultantly, ASI Ajmair, ASI Farooq Khattak, head constables Rashid Khan, Mumtaz, Munir Akhtar, constables Sarwar, Wasir Iqbal and Fayyaz sustained bullet wounds. They were taken to the Aga Khan Hospital but HC Munir Akhtar and constable Fayyaz died on the way. Following the incident, heavy contingent of law enforcers including CCPO Karachi Wasim Ahmed, West Zone DIG Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti, Crime Investigation Department (CID) SSP Fayyaz Khan, CID SSP Ch Aslam Khan, SSP Lyari Raja Umer Khattab, West Zone Investigation SSP Khurram Waris and Brigadier (Rangers) Faqahur Rehman reached the scene. Over 100 mobiles of police and Rangers including Armed Personnel Carriers (APCs) cordoned off the area and started houseto-house search and arrested around 35 suspected persons. The sources further said that at least four out of the 35 arrested people were terrorists affiliated with TTP and other banned religious outfits. A large quantity of weapons and chemicals was also recovered from the site. It is pertinent to mention here that Hashmatullah was abducted on November 13, 2008 from Peshawar while on January 6 kidnappers contacted the Iranian Embassy from an undisclosed place at Nazimabad No. 4 and demanded Rs 50 million for his release. "We were trying to trace the people involved in the kidnapping for many days," said an anonymous official. He further said the ISI had traced the calls made by terrorists and the LEAs were trying to reach the exact location when the bloody incident took place. However, local residents claimed that people arrested during the operation were innocent. Most of them are labourers, they said. Meanwhile, funeral prayers of the deceased policemen were offered at the Police Headquarters Garden. Relatives and police high-ups including IGP Sindh Sultan Sallahuddin Babar Khattak, CCPO, DIGs, SSPs and others attended the funeral prayers of the deceased policemen, whose bodies were later sent to their hometowns. The IGP has announced Rs 2 million financial assistance for the families of each deceased policemen and Rs 0.1 million for the injured. He also announced to provide jobs to the family members of the deceased cops. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has also announced Rs 1 million each for the families of deceased and Rs 0.2 million for SSP Awan. Deceased Fayyaz had joined the police force seven years ago and was the father of two children.