Six terrorists, including one who was allegedly involved in kidnapping the son of assassinated governor Salmaan Taseer, were killed during an exchange of fire with security forces, police in Pakistan’s Punjab province said on Monday.
Shahbaz Taseer, the son of the slain Punjab governor, however, rebutted the police claim and said none of his abductors had been killed.
The terrorists were killed during a gun battle with personnel of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) at Sheikhupura on Sunday. According to the media, personnel from intelligence agencies and CTD conducted a raid after getting a tip-off about the presence of terrorists in the area.
The terrorists ambushed the security personnel when they reached the area, triggering an exchange of fire. Police recovered two kilograms of explosives, three pistols and three Kalashnikov rifles from the dead terrorists.
After the gun battle, the security personnel conducted a search operation late into Sunday night but three accomplices of the dead men managed to escape, officials said.
Shahbaz Taseer, who was freed by his abductors in March this year, more than four years after he was kidnapped from Lahore, took to Twitter to respond to media reports that one of his kidnappers had been killed.
“Very careless of Pakistani media channels to put my life in danger to break a story that is not true. None of my kidnappers have been killed,” he said. He added, “As a matter of fact I don’t know who they killed but my kidnappers had no link to TTP and no other organisation except the IMU was involved.”
A senior police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the CTD’s investigation team had identified one of the dead men as Haji Muhammad alias Pathan, who was accused of involvement in the abduction of Taseer.
“Pathan belonged to two banned organisations – TTP and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,” the official said.