Families of four men, who were killed in a joint operation of police and Rangers, blocked the National Highway by placing bodies on the road in Sindh’s Nawabshah on Thursday as they staged a sit-in against the killing.
“Villagers attacked police and Rangers during an operation against suspects in Mari Jalbani village near Sakrand. There was an exchange of fire between both sides,” Benazirabad SSP Haider Raza told reporters.
At least two people were killed and four were injured in the gun battle, he added. But later the death toll increased to four after two wounded villagers succumbed to their injuries.
The joint operation was conducted on a tip-off about a suspected suicide bomber in Mari Jalbani village of the Sakrand Town earlier in the day, according to caretaker Sindh Home Minister Brig (retd) Haris Nawaz.
Sources said that the operation was conducted in the riverine, locally known as Kacha, area and infamous for criminal activities. When a contingent of police and rangers surrounded the area, the villagers started firing, they added.
In a statement, the Sindh Rangers said a joint operation was conducted along with the police in Sakrand following intelligence reports on the presence of criminal elements.
“There were reports of high-value criminals in possession of explosives and firearms,” it stated.
“Upon seeing Rangers and police, the armed miscreants opened fire, injuring four Rangers personnel. In retaliatory fire, three miscreants were killed,” the statement added.
The protesting families have demanded justice from the chief justice of Pakistan and arrested the killers. They added that they continued to protest until the investigation was done and the culprits were arrested.