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Founding members of LJ killed in Police encounter

26 November, 2015

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LAHORE: Haroon Bhatti, one of the founding members of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), and three others were killed in a police "encounter" in Lahore's Badami Bagh area late on Wednesday, a spokesman from the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) said.

The official told journalists that three police constables had also received bullet injuries during the encounter.

Police had brought back Bhatti, along with his four associates, to Pakistan from Dubai with the help of Interpol on October 22 this year.

The key LJ leader was reportedly accompanying the police and CTD personnel to assist them in identifying a house in use of suspected terrorists near Malik park in the Badami Bagh area when the encounter took place.

The CTD spokesman said the police party raided a house on the tip off to arrest criminals involved in sectarian killings. He added that the terrorists staying in the house offered resistance to the raiding party and opened fire.

Police said the raiding party resorted to retaliatory firing as a result of which the attackers were killed.

Police also claims to have recovered a huge cache of arms and explosives, including Kalashnikovs, rifles and hand grenades from the suspected terrorists' possession. The three suspects were identified as Omair Nadeem, Omair Hassan and Noman Yasin.

Police officials feared that the men could have conducted massive sectarian-related terrorist attacks. Their bodies were shifted to the Mayo Hospital's Some of the people closely involved in the attack have been suspended from their duties, he said, but he did not specify how many.

Earlier on Wednesday, a US media report said the crew of the US AC-130 gunship relied on a physical description of the compound provided by Afghan forces. The intended target was 400 metres away from the hospital.

Investigators found no evidence that the crew or the US Special Forces commander on the ground who authorised the strike knew the targeted compound was a hospital at the time of the attack.US President Barack Obama has apologised for the attack.

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