According to police, a suicide jacket, four hand grenades, sub-machine guns and ammunition was recovered on the pointation of three held suspects, identified as Hassan Punjabi, Shah Qanoon and Imran.
While the police was on its way back after making the recovery, the suspects’ companions attacked the police van near Dera Aslam on BRB Canal, said police.
The attack led to an exchange of fire between the police and the assailants, which resulted in the deaths of the three suspected terrorists in police custody.
The operation against the alleged terrorists was led by Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) Superintendent of Police Umar Virk, while a sub-inspector was also injured in the encounter with the suspects, said police.
Almost a month ago, Malik Ishaq, chief of banned sectarian outfit Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, his two sons Usman and Haq Nawaz, and 11 attackers were killed in an alleged exchange of fire with police personnel in similar circumstances.
Ishaq and his sons were arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) a week before the alleged encounter took place. Following their recent arrest, the police had interrogated them and had subsequently taken them to Shahwala in Punjab’s Muzaffargarh district to aid the police in recovering weapons and explosives, sources in the CTD said.
Ishaq’s encounter appeared to have taken place as militants attacked security forces and tried to free Ishaq who was killed in the ensuing exchange of fire, security sources had said.
A spokesman for CTD Multan at the time had said Ishaq and his two sons were taken to Muzaffargarh to aid in the recovery of arms and explosives.
As the police party was returning after making the recovery, it was attacked by some 12 to 15 gunmen following which an encounter ensued.
Recently, after the assassination of Punjab home minister Shuja Khanzada, the security apparataus in Punjab has been tightened, with decisive action being taken against militant elements, the government says.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily