RAWALPINDI: A day after Pak Army took over charge of operation against Chotu gang in Kacha areas in Rajanpur district, DG ISPR Lt Gen Asim Salim Bajwa on Saturday reported that cordon has been reinforced while police and Rangers will continue to participate in the mission under army‘s supervision.
Asim Bajwa further stated that all resources will be utilized to accomplish the mission.
On Friday, a heavy contingent of troops was sent to help rescue 24 police held hostage by a gang of heavily armed criminals after a bungled raid on their island stronghold.
Officials said six policemen have already been killed in the operation launched Thursday against members of the so-called “Chotu gang” on an island in the Indus river in southern Punjab province.
Up to 1,500 officers were involved in the failed raid against some 150 men armed with rocket launchers and machine guns, authorities said.
“Our cops attempted to reach their base by two boats in the river, and the criminals came right in front of them and there was heavy exchange of fire,” a police official in the operation control room told media.
The criminals were armed with “rocket launchers, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns”, he said.
So far six policemen have been killed with 24 taken hostage, he said.
“We have called the army for help and are evolving a new strategy,” district police chief Ghulam Mubashir Maken told media, adding that helicopters could be used to launch a counter-attack.
Some 150 army troops had arrived in Rajanpur district and more were on the way, he said.
Officials announced last week that the military in coordination with law enforcement agencies had launched a new crackdown in southern Punjab in the wake of a suicide attack on a park in Lahore that killed more than 70 people.
The operation against the gang began on April 1, officials said, with police confining the gang members to a roughly 10 kilometre area.
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