Pakistani counterterrorism police kill 3 militants in raid

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani counterterrorism police said they killed three militants in a gun battle early Sunday during a raid on their hideout near the eastern city of Lahore.

The raid took place after police received information that the alleged militants belonged to the banned group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, according to a brief statement issued by Punjab province’s Counter Terrorism Department. The banned group is also known as the Pakistani Taliban.

The three men were hiding in a rented house in the city of Ferozwala, a Lahore suburb.

Lahore is the capital of eastern Punjab province, which has seen several militant attacks in recent years, including one in June near the home of a militant leader that left three people including a police officer dead.

The CTD statement said the militants killed Sunday were planning attacks on security forces and Shiite mourning processions.

It said there was an exchange of gunfire during the raid in which three militants were killed and officers seized weapons from the hideout including an explosives-filled vest, two assault rifles, three hand grenades and two pistols. The militants were identified as Afghan nationals.