Pakistan police raid Taleban-linked militant hideout, kill 6

MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) – Pakistani security forces raided a hideout of Taleban- linked suspected militants on Thursday, killing 6 of them, a counter-terrorism official said.

The raid in the central district of Khanewal was based on intelligence that the militants were planning an attack said the official, Mohammad Saleem. Explosives, assault rifles, hand grenades and maps of some installations were seized at the scene, he said.

The raid came on heels of a series of suicide bombings this week by a breakaway Pakistani Taleban faction – the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar or Freedom Movement – following an almost three-month lull.

The group carried out three suicide bombings this week, killing 19 people. Also, two of its bombers were killed before they could set off their explosives and another blew himself up prematurely before reaching his target.

Pakistan has for over a decade fought militants, who have killed thousands of people.

Similar raids and search operations were underway in other Pakistani urban centres and security was put on alert in major cities across the country, said Rana Sanaullah, a provincial law minister.

Pakistani bystanders and volunteers look on as an official uses a forklift truck to move a damaged van from the site after a suicide bomb attack in Peshawar on February 15. - AFP
Pakistani bystanders and volunteers look on as an official uses a forklift truck to move a damaged van from the site after a suicide bomb attack in Peshawar on February 15. – AFP