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Five militants, one police officer killed in Pakistan raid

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By Reuters
Five militants, one police officer killed in Pakistan raid
Soldiers and police officers stand near a demolished house, after a shootout in Hayatabad area, Peshawar, Pakistan, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz   -   Copyright  FAYAZ AZIZ(Reuters)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Police and army commandos killed five Pakistani Taliban militants during an overnight siege at a house in the northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said on Tuesday.

One police officer was killed and two wounded during the 16-hour operation. It ended when the house was destroyed by what police believe was an improvised explosive device.

“It was an operation based on the information of our intelligence agencies,” Peshawar police chief Qazi Jamil told reporters.

Jamil said police were still confirming the identity of the occupants.

Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for Pakistani Taliban, said in a text message to reporters the five dead men were members of the militant group.

The Pakistani Taliban are an umbrella group of several Sunni Islamist militant outfits waging war to overthrow the government. The Taliban want to transform the nuclear-armed nation and govern it along strict Islamic Sharia laws.

The insurgents’ strength has been sapped in recent years by successive Pakistani military operations, leading to a sharp drop in militant violence in recent years.

But the militants continue to pose a risk, including by launching attacks on soft targets, such as last week’s suicide bombing which killed 19 people, including many from the minority Hazara Shi’ite in southwestern city of Quetta.

Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Quetta attack.

(Reporting by Jibran Ahmad; writing by Asif Shahzad; editing by Darren Schuettler)