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Pak arrests over a dozen militants

Pakistani police arrested more than a dozen Islamist militants in the southern city of Karachi on Thursday after a fierce gunbattle following a pre-dawn raid on their hideout.

world Updated: Jan 15, 2009 11:18 IST

Pakistani police arrested more than a dozen Islamist militants in the southern city of Karachi on Thursday after a fierce gunbattle following a pre-dawn raid on their hideout, officials said.

Two policemen were killed and nine wounded before the militants' resistance was broken after several hours of shooting.

The raid came at a time when tensions were running high between Pakistan and India in the wake of a militant attack on the Indian city of , and there is pressure from the international community for Pakistan to crack down harder on jihadi groups.

There were no immediate details of whether the militants had any affiliations with anti-India groups, but Karachi's police chief Waseem Ahmed said authorities were investigating links to pro-Taliban fighters in the lawless tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

"We were getting reports for a long time that some jihadi elements were active in this area. On Thursday, we raided the area and arrested many of them," Ahmed said.