ISLAMABAD - Officials in Pakistan announced Tuesday counterterrorism forces have killed five militants in a 17 hour long gun battle in an upscale locality in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
The clashes erupted on Monday evening after security forces, acting on a tip, stormed a suspected militant hideout in the Hayatabad residential area where five terrorists had taken cover along with a huge quantity of weapons and massive explosives, officials said.
The militants, officials and residents reported, retaliated with heavy gunfire at the raiding police party, killing one officer and wounding two others. Two civilian women were reportedly also among those injured.
Army commandos later joined the civilian security force and the fight continued intermittently into Tuesday afternoon. Police told reporters shortly after the siege ended that about 50 kilograms of explosive material was found installed in a bike and parts of the building.
Neighbors told reporters the slain suspects had moved into the house just days ago. There were no immediate claims of responsibility.
Militants linked to the outlawed Pakistani Taliban outfit and loyalists of Islamic State have claimed responsibility for previous terrorism-related incidents in Peshawar and elsewhere in Pakistan.
A mere three weeks before a Pakistani minority was planning to celebrate a year of peaceful existence, an explosion ripped through a vegetable market, killing at least 18 people.
Police officials said the blast targeted members of the Hazara community, a Shi’ite minority primarily living in large clusters in Quetta in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, although eight of the dead were not Hazaras.
The explosives were hidden in a sack of potatoes, according to the Deputy Inspector General of police Abdul Razzaq Cheema.
Last week, a bomb explosion in a market in the southwestern city of Quetta killed at least 20 people and injured more than 50 others. Islamic State claimed it carried out the attack that was primarily aimed at the minority ethnic Hazara Shi’ite community.