ISLAMABAD - Karachi police claim to arrest as many as 16,445 alleged culprits and hardcore criminals during 10,639 raids at different hideouts of the criminal gangs during the ongoing targeted operation in the metropolitan city, a senior officer of the federal government said while sharing details with The Nation.

The federal government led by PML-N in September last year announced to launch a targeted operation in Karachi against criminals and terrorists in which Rangers under the administrative control of central government had been given a key role, besides police.

Quoting a working paper shared by the Karachi Police with the federal government, the officer said that 16,445 alleged criminals had been arrested and 10,639 raids had been conducted for a period starting from September 5, 2013 to February 10, 2014. He said Sindh Police had claimed to arrest 4,820 proclaimed offenders (POs) among 16,445 arrested criminals, wanted in terrorism, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and murder cases.

The police also killed 133 alleged hardened criminals involved in heinous crime in 820 encounters during September 5, 2013 to February 10, 2014.

Karachi police claim that they has recovered three light machine guns (LMGs), 101 Kalashnikov rifles, 73 ordinary rifles, 128 short guns, 30,762 pistols, 190 hand grenades, four suicide jackets and 282-kg explosive material during the ongoing targeted operation against criminals.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while announcing the launch of operation in September last had said that Rangers with the assistance of the local police would play a vital role in the operation while Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah would be the captain of the whole exercise. He had said that the coordination among all intelligence agencies working in Karachi was being improved and the federal government would extend every kind of help to the provincial government to make the operation successful. He had also said that the operation was being launched with full impartiality and no political party would be victimised in this exercise.