Karachi: Police gunned down seven suspected militants, including a local operator belonging to Al Qaida, in a shoot-out in northern outskirts of Karachi in a raid Thursday morning. Three policemen were shot in other violent assaults.

The shoot-out took place at Macchar Colony, a part of Sohrab Goth and a place notorious for being a favourite hiding place for Pakistani Taliban and affiliated militant groups.

Rao Mohammad Anwar who led the intelligence driven operation told Gulf News they planned the raid on the hideout of the militants and summoned police from different police stations and the headquarters.

When the area was besieged, the militants opened fire on the raiding police and the shoot-out began. The fierce exchange of fire lasted for 45 minutes resulting in death of seven militants and rounding up of some suspects.

Anwar said one body was identified as that of Pervez alias Paro, who was the local commander of Al Qaida and was heading the gang of some 20 militants. The gang was involved in targeting policemen in the city.

Investigations were ongoing with the suspects who were rounded up in two hour crackdown in the area that followed after the encounter. Some 500 policemen participated in the operation.

Elsewhere, at least three policemen were shot down in two different parts of the city.

Unknown motorcycle riders shot down two policemen in Nazimabad neighbourhood. The two policemen were standing on the roadside when the riders opened fire on them.

Senior police officer Chauhdry Asad told Gulf News they were ‘targeted’ by assailants, but it was premature to say who they were.

The afternoon attack came after the police killed at least seven militants who were involved in shooting policemen in the city.

Earlier, another policeman was gunned down in Shadman town in the similar fashion.

In the past eight days, at least eight policemen were killed in the city in different violent attacks. Two soldiers of paramilitary Rangers were also killed during an encounter with the militants in the recent days.