Two Taliban terrorists, who were planning to target a Sufi shrine in Pakpattan district of Pakistan’s Punjab province, were shot dead in a shootout that also led to the death of an inspector of the counter-terrorism department.
According to the counter terrorism department, upon receiving information that some terrorists were hiding in Shade Ke Dulu at Harappa in Sahiwal district, some 250 km from Lahore, a CTD team along with police raided their hideout on Sunday.
When the team challenged the suspects they opened fire, killing inspector Fida Husain on the spot and injuring two other security personnel seriously, officials said.
In the exchange of fire, two terrorists were killed while four others were injured and arrested.
One of the dead terrorists was identified as Zeeshan alias Shani. He was allegedly involved in a murder attempt on the Sahiwal CTD chief in December 2016 and the killing of two men. Weapons and explosives were recovered from the suspects.
The CTD said the terrorists belonged to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and were planning to target a shrine in Pakpattan district.
Pakpattan is famous throughout South Asia for a number of Sufi shrines, of which the most renowned is that of Hazrat Baba Farid Shakarganj. An attack on Shakarganj’s shrine had killed seven people in October 2010.
The Islamic State and the Taliban have frequently targeted Sufi shrines across Pakistan. More than 25 shrines across the country have been attacked since 2005, according to reports.
One of the deadliest suicide bombing targeting a Sufi shrine in Pakistan took place last month when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan of Sindh province, killing nearly 90 people.
Meanwhile, in a joint search operation, Pakistan Rangers, CTD and police arrested 80 suspects in various parts of the province including Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Chakwal and Lahore.